21 June 2008

Honour thy father . . . - Ephesians 6:2

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years. - Mark Twain

One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters. - Proverb

Be kind to thy father, for when thou were young,
Who loved thee so fondly as he?
He caught the first accents that fell from thy tongue,
And joined in thy innocent glee. - Margaret Courtney

Listen, my son, to your father's instruction
and do not forsake your mother's teaching.
They will be a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck. - Proverb 1:8-9

It's not an easy thing to be a father here on earth, setting up the idea of what a father is to those who will one day call God their Father in heaven. There are scores of poems written to honour mothers; quotes, songs, pictures and cards. As if we don't acknowledge all the time the need that we all have for a mother. But where are the beautiful poems for fathers? Praise is given to soldiers, to teachers and professors, to firemen and policemen, to doctors, philosophers and explorers, to heroes of the old west... .

But where is the praise for the man who teaches his children respect, love, and praise, and holds these to be his most important tasks? Where are the books about the men who gave up the six figure salaries because they realized that it was more important to be there for their family, and taught them to appreciate the love of God and of others first of all? Where are the songs for Dear Old Dad that actually praise his decision making and respect his authority in the home? That acknowledge the heavy responsibilities of being a father, and also expound on the rewards? Where are the poems and lists of the qualities of a great man? We overlook the faults of the mother and hold her to be an angel, but ridicule and belittle Dad because he forgets to put down the toilet seat, or can't show teary emotions.

Lift up your heads, oh, Dads! Stand tall and strong, like God made you to be! Don't cower and cringe behind the woman who thinks she can "do it all" - because she really can't! So what if you aren't perfect - neither are the mothers who have all those lovely poems and posies given them every May. Perhaps there are not so many poems for you because as a strong tough non-emotional guy you don't think you need them. You do need our praise and respect. For God commands us both in the Old and New Testaments to honour thy father.

I've decided I need to be telling my Husband and my Dad and my Father in Law how much I respect and need them, in things I say and do. And I respectfully remind you to do the same for the men in your life - even those who aren't fathers. They are men, made in the image of God, a little lower than the angels, and we need to show them respect, like fathers and brothers, Paul told Timothy.

- LisaM

God our Father,
in your wisdom and love you made all things.
Bless these men,
that they may be strengthened as Christian fathers.
Let the example of their faith and love shine forth.
Grant that we, their sons and daughters,
may honor them always
with a spirit of profound respect.

- found online
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