(Fatherhood) Shoot Your Arrows Accurately
Fatherhood is a blessing from the Lord. I never fully understood this truth growing up. I think my lack of acknowledgment was mainly true, because I was so preoccupied with other things. Let’s call it youth and immaturity. It never dawned on me to really consider and evaluate the blessing of fatherhood and a strong and stable family unit. From a kid’s perspective, the opposite side of the coin is true. Fatherhood blesses children. Kids benefit from having a Dad (and Mom) that loves them beyond just providing for them. There is much to say about the value of stability, protection, guidance, and love in a family’s home. In the process of it all, God, in His infinite wisdom, uses the structure of family and the close ties of these loving relationships to mature and grow each of us throughout life. What a beautiful picture, right?
Unfortunately, the family unit is in decline. Sin leaves a destructive path and Jesus is our only hope. I do not need to put forward a bunch of statistics from various sources, because the evidence is all around us. Look at your own home, as I do mine. How did you grow up? If you have kids, what are they experiencing now? Look at others and observe. Let’s face it. Most kids and grownups have experienced disruption in the family unit. Men and women divorce. Kids experience the damaging effects. Everything changes and adjustments are necessary. People then remarry and original families intermix with others. It’s quite complicated; it’s extremely sad and difficult, yet it’s the reality for the majority of folks these days. Even more confusing now is the continual push for gay and lesbian lifestyles and transgender identifications, even at young ages. What on earth is wrong with us? (2 Timothy 4:3-4) Society accepts such things on the basis of opinion, myth, neutrality or indifference, and even apathy. It’s easy to see why we are where we are and why the family unit is taking such a terrible hit.
As a father of five, I, therefore, consider it a unique privilege to instruct and guide my children and to teach them what is right and true. My overarching goal is quite simple in concept, yet it is impossible in my own strength and aim. The primary goal in fatherhood is to have each of my children to know the Lord and to follow His ways. Basically, I want each of them to experience genuine salvation. All other things set aside, this is my ultimate aim. In all humility, I know the accuracy of each shot is entirely dependent upon the Lord. Without His help, I can do everything right and fall desperately short and not hit the mark. The reason for this effect, I believe, is the variable of sin and how I have so little control over it in another’s heart. Sinful hearts need a Savior and I can never be that for them. Additionally, I know that good morality, knowledge, heritage, and even religion are not enough for them either. You see, we all miss the mark of God’s requirement (perfection), which is in fact what God demands if our works are to be the basis for our righteousness. It’s impossible on our own; I tell my kids that regularly. But God (Ephesians 2)… Nothing is impossible with Him. The good news, as I tell my kids, is that God meets our need. He provides what we cannot through the person of Jesus Christ. His miraculous birth, perfect life, ultimate sacrifice on the cross, burial, and resurrection are everything! Our faith, hope, and salvation are entirely dependent upon Him. If they get these truths, embrace them, believe them, and live in light of them, my efforts in fatherhood will be a huge success.
Every parent wants to see their children succeed. It’s true that I cannot control how the arrow lands, but I can, in fatherhood, direct how it’s shot. In doing so, I can trust God for the outcome and my arrows (kids) can then hit their mark: To know God, to love Him, and to live for Him. My parents celebrate 48 years of marriage this month and I want to dedicate this blog post to them. I praise God for your shining example, for your endless encouragements, and for your sacrificial love. Thank you for the stability in our home. My sisters and I may not have received earthly riches (money and material possessions) from them, but we can honestly say that we received wealth beyond measure: Faith & Family. You were both the bow to me. Without it, this arrow could have never been shot. I love you both beyond words!