“As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him” (Psalm 103:13 NIV).
I am convinced that the Lord bestows no greater blessing to us on earth than the blessing of children. They are beautiful sons and daughters of God and made in His image. The song I learned in Sunday School, “Jesus loves the little children of the world” is just as true today as it was then and will be forever.
Father’s Day is for all men regardless if you have been blessed with children or if your father was present in your life. We all have a Heavenly Father that loves us more than we can ever comprehend. For those of us that are blessed with children or grandchildren, we have a tremendous responsibility to ensure that they are raised to know and love Christ. Proverbs 22:6 teaches, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
Our children learn by watching us. They are watching both parents. Daughters look to their father to understand what is a Godly man. Sons learn from their father how to treat women.
The most important thing with children is what you do, not what you say. How effective is it for a father to tell his son not to use tobacco while the father is smoking a cigarette? As a young boy, I was always watching my father. I understood that his words were true because they were supported by his actions. I was blessed because he brought me up in accordance with Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” My father not only made sure I attended church to hear the Word proclaimed, but he did his best to model authentic manhood for me by showing kindness to strangers, those in need, and honoring my mother.
Our prisons are filled with young men that grew up without a father present in the house. Sadly, many times when the father was present, he was not engaged in raising the child. Proverbs 22:6 teaches us, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
It has been said that the best sermons are lived and not preached. This is not meant to diminish the importance of the spoken Word. The Word is powerful and is the only offensive weapon in the armor of God. It is meant to emphasize the importance of what we do because our children are watching to see if our actions correspond to our words.
Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for the blessing of children. May we always be mindful that they are made in your image. Amen.
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist under the direction of the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is concurrently in training to become a Lay Minister under the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He enjoys writing inspirational Christian blogs at toddshupe.com and todd-shupe.com.
Gulf South Men is a regional ministry coming along side churches and men’s ministries by offering Education, Training, Resources, Men’s Events and Mentoring to help churches build effective men’s ministry and make disciples for Christ.
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