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My Father´s Legacy !
By Rev. E. Peterson, M.A.
Thereís a crisis today Ė a crisis of fatherly confidence.
In the 21st century, whatís the role of dad?
We are going to look at some very typical parents, to see what timeless lessons they hold for us as parents, especially fathers.
- War has been waging over the children's spiritual lives, denying them their rightful place in their daddyís heart.
And since often we find that the church is being influenced by the spirit of the world rather than by the Spirit of the Word, this denial of honoring fathers is reflected in how men function below par in many a church.
By giving men a sense of their place, role, and calling in life, the Church will see men being released into fantastic Christian experience.
And it all begins in the family, the home, which is the foundation of all societies.
ďThe main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing, says Stephen Covey.
What is a Father? ďDaddyĒ. The very word evokes feelings of empathy, protectiveness and pride. Children - Itís always amazing: how one so small can make you feel so tall. Little they are, and so defenseless; yet their smiling faces, lively chatter and carefree laughter; the influence they yield is astounding!
The family was created and instituted to be a nurturing environment where children would grow up under guidance and direction of two loving parents with dad as the leader. The Bible teaches that parents are responsible for helping their families avoid the experiences and pitfalls that will lead them astray to fall into sin, causing pain and loss.
Parents have the responsibility of setting moral boundaries.
In Gen 25:28 we read some of the most far-reaching words in all of Holy Scripture: And Isaac loved Esau; because he ate of his game; but Rebecca loved Jacob.
In verse 27, Esau is described as a skillful hunter. Time and time again, he would bring home game, and the family, especially his father, would eat his meat and be satisfied. His father loved that immensely. He was so proud of his son Esau.
But Jacob, poor boy, he had nothing, in the eyes of Isaac, to commend him to the love of his father. How sad!
And herein lies the first tragic flaw in this family which would haunt their children for the rest of their lives. He began to prefer one son above the other. First mistake. And many fathers are making the same unwise mistake today!
Esau was an outdoorsman and he loved hunting. Esau was of strong constitution, virile, strong Ė a fine specimen of masculinity; robust and active; but his brother was tender like other children.
The King James describes Esau as a cunning hunter; indicating he was very good at hunting. He was swift, strong, artful and alert in catching his game.
He made a name for himself; because whenever you are good at doing what you do, youíll never want for recognition. People will gravitate towards you, like flies to a light-bulb. And so it was with Esau, daddyís wonder-boy.
But not Jacob. On the other hand, Jacob was a homebody. Jacob was shy, retiring and unassuming, as he lived in the shadow of his elder brother, Esau.
So no one noticed him. He was at home, growing up diffident, hurting, and ever seeking the love of his distant father, Isaac.
And in this alienation of affection in this traditional family, between a hurting son and his distant father, over the years, there developed envy, bitter animosity, deception and enduring rivalry for many, many years, even after these boys had grown up and embarked upon their own families.
Many of you know what Iím talking about.
You, like Jacob, have felt the sting of being unnoticed, being the runt of the litter, as if you didnít matter, as your sibling got all the attention; inside and outside the home.
You felt as if they were always celebrated, while you were merely tolerated.
So you grew up, in this alienation of affection, with this secret pain within you; longing for your Fatherís LOVE, and not receiving it Ė all your life.
And now, you, youíre a father, and youíre making the same tragic mistake with your children.
One is even-tempered, while the other is temperamental or even often bad-tempered.
One is an A-student, whereas the other is not studious at all.
One is neat and tidy, where the other is very untidy.
One has friends you approve of, and the other doesnít.
One affirms and always agrees with you, but the other doesnít. "Sheís just like her mother," you say.
You just canít understand how two children growing up in the same home can be so very different.
One is always so contented, but the other always asks why Ė and you canít stand it.
I understand that!
Longing for your fatherís approval, but finding only his disapproval.
Looking earnestly for the love of your father, but sensing only your brother heíd rather.
You couldnít have your fatherís hand, so you learned to obey your motherís commands
Not getting your fatherís love, you learned to turn your eyes to God above.
The twists and turns of your life have been many,
O this longing in your heart for the love of your daddy!
~ People come and people go, but a fatherís love is so vital to know. ~
~ All the world you may travel and see,~
But thereís nothing, - nothing as enduring as:
~ Your Fatherís Legacy. ~
As a boy, growing up with three brothers, I often saw the world in black and white, because it often is. And with my analytical, rational mind; my insatiable quest for knowledge, coupled with my penchant to express my thoughts; I would often speak up on any given issue.
But my brother, not risking dad's disapproval, would say nothing.
Imagine that: four boys growing up in the same home, and so very different.
"Don't contadict me." dad would often say.
Reader; Itís the sure prescription for alienating your childís affection.
Dad, itís important to entertain your childís questions.
Every wise parent knows it creates a bond of communication and gives you important insights into your childís mind Ė all critically important clues in their knowing a Fatherís affection, which is the key to their unique identity in later life.
As parents, God has given you the privilege, power and priority of being the prime influencer in your home. Regardless of how different God has made each one of them, they are still Godís heritage to you in this life. and so you must guard and guide your inheritance with prayer and the wisdom of responsibility.
Weigh your words carefully; theyíre heavier than you think.
Col 3:23. if all they hear are negative words, theyíll suffer deep emotional wounds, and this abuse may affect them for life.
Children hunger for emotional sustenance Ė they want and need validation from you, dad. "Youíre stupid; youíre lazy", are lethal weapons.
So many bear the scars of neglect. Parents, locked in a bitter divorce, each demanding loyalty, use their children as tools. Itís important to realize that children are RESPONDERS. And you as dad, set the temperature in your home by your embracing love and daily meaningful communication with your children.
If you are not doing it, someone outside your home is, at this very moment, already influencing your child, very likely, in a direction of which you do not approve.
But thatís the way it is. Nature abhors a vacuum. Itís a fact of life. Your child needs you. They need you, dad.
You are all important to your child's LIFE!
You are leaving a lasting legacy in your child's life. What kind are you leaving?
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