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Fathers’ deeds should lead to succeeding generations

Voices of Religion

Posted: Friday, June 22, 2007

The national day to recognize fathers is past; however, I hope the attitude of gratitude for dads goes on. Even more so, the example of good dads needs to continue.

While not every man may be a father, every father needs to be a man in the complete sense of the word.

Scripture says: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”

With childish things put aside, it is a good idea to maintain child-like faith.

Fathers appreciate gifts. A little boy named Eddie had a grandmother who enjoyed the opera. For his eighth birthday, Eddie’s grandmother took him to an opera performance of Wagner, in German. Eddie complied with his mother’s prompting and wrote a thank-you note:

Dear Grandmother,

Thank you for the birthday present. It is what I always wanted, but not very much.Love,

Eddie

Fathers are thankful for all their gifts, especially those of wife and family — the best gifts a dad can have.

Fathers are used to giving too. They give of their time, attention, money and resources.

This is in keeping with the old saying: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Dads living as good examples are important.

The Bible says: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Abraham Lincoln added this bit of advice: “There is but one way to train up a child in the way he should go, and that is to travel it yourself.”

Giving an example of perfection is often expected but not possible.

The sculptor of the presidents on Mount Rushmore was asked if his work was perfect. Gutzon Borglum replied, “Not today. The nose of Washington is an inch too long. It is better that way though. It will erode to be exactly right in 10,000 years.”

Dads cannot let the lack of perfection stand in the way of their best effort. The impact of the deeds of dads should reach beyond them to succeeding generations. What they do should outlast them.

Courage is an important characteristic of fathers.

Winston Churchill said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

While Churchill followed his advice for international situations, it applies to what dads face, too.

It is important for fathers to stand up and speak up for what is right. It is equally important for dads to listen in order to learn and to love.

It is better to choose the pain of discipline now than to suffer the pain of regret later.

In order to be effective, a father must become a man and put away childish things. However, he remains in touch with what causes wonder, awe and thrills for children so he can connect with and lead the next generation.

Thanks, fathers, for your faithfulness. We have one shot at it, so we must make it count.

Keep up the good work.

Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling United Pentecostal Church on Swanson River Road at Entrada. Sunday services are at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Bible study is 7 p.m. on Thursday.



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