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  • Writer's picturetimothy martiny

My Thoughts on Fathers Day

First, let me say happy Father's Day to all your fathers!

As a father of six wonderful children, I found myself thinking about what fatherhood means, not just personally, either as a father or having a father. But in God's greater sense, our heavenly father and us, his adopted children.

Despite 17 years of experience, I still have much to learn. Below are a few things I have grasped a better understanding of over the years, and I wanted to share them with you.

  1. 1) As God is the Father of His creation, we are the fathers of creation to the children we produce. As such, we have the authority and responsibility to provide, care, and love those under our charge.1 Timothy 5:8 says, "But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." In this broken world, filled with many broken families, it is all the more important to remind and encourage men to own up to and accept their obligation to "be" there to care for and provide for the children they create.

  2. Fatherhood requires doing hard things; sometimes, what is best for our children is not always what makes them "happy." Just as God disciplines us, Hebrews 12:6 "For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." Fathers need to take responsibility for disciplining their children. When I think of discipline, I think of taking the time to teach, instruct, and, if necessary, punish my children so that they understand what is right and wrong in the sight of God and have a desire to obey out of love and a belief that it is right, not a fear of doing what is wrong.

  3. Teaching children. This is not always easy; if it were, I don't think Paul would have had to write in Ephesians 6:4: "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." Sometimes, our children frustrate us, and our sinful nature can lead us to act out in ungodly ways. Thinking on the patience, love and perseverance that God demonstrates towards us, His wayward children, who, have constantly turned away from and disobeyed Him, is a strong example of how we should act, even when our children frustrate us.

  4. Fatherhood is a blessing. Yes, raising children, especially six of them, takes a lot of work. However, the most significant changes I have seen happen through being an active father took place in me, not my kids. Teaching, caring, loving, and raising children has given me a greater understanding of God's love for me. The pride I feel in seeing my children do well, knowing that my life is not just about me but the lives of those I touch, gives me a greater sense of the breadth and scope of God and eternity. Realizing that I am just a tiny part of life and a history that has been carried on long before me and will continue on long after I'm gone helps put my problems in perspective.

  5. We are called to be fathers to more than just our children. Romans 8: 14-16 "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God."

Yes, we have a responsibility to our own children. Still, God's example of adopting us into his family to become "children of God" shows us that we cannot simply be content to "father" our own children, but that we should enlarge the borders of our tents to make room for those who have no fathers present in their lives.

We must remember that our religion is not pure or complete until we have reached out and cared for the orphaned and fatherless (James 1:27)

This list is not comprehensive or exhaustive, but I hope that it will move your heart, as it moved mine, toward greater gratitude toward my heavenly father and greater action toward being a father.

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