A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of connecting with a young man with a great passion for Jesus. As he spoke of his journey and how he has come to where he is now I was filled with compassion for him and many like him.
One of the challenges glaringly apparent in the world today is the freedom by which the term Father is banded about.
Let me give you my definition:
To the Man who lavishes, unsparingly, his love, his time, his wealth, his heart, his life, his hopes and dreams. To the Man who stands and watches over, who guards and gives counsel, who catches tears and brings correction. To the Man who loves the Mother of his child, who raises her up, who encourages and honours her. To the Man who guides and provides, who laughs and cries, who picks up when there’s failure and raises up on shoulders when there is victory. To this Man shall we award the mark of a father. Through his sacrifice, shall the sons and daughters be set free to run ahead and lay claim to riches the Man only dreamt about.
I sat across the table from this young man and realised, here is another son, with a dad, but lacking a Father. Fatherhood is not birthed out of absence or neglect, neither is it earned by default. Fatherhood requires patience, promise and purpose. This young man is but one example of a generation of men entering the marketplace having missed the love and input from a Father. How can we then be shocked when they leave their own children, never amount to the husbands they promised to be and how can we expect them to model, teach and preach to their own children, that which they have never seen?
This is a challenge, a call to arms, our children are being ill-equipped for the battles that lie ahead of them. It is not their fault, nor can we blame, Sony, Apple, Microsoft, mass media, bad schools and poor role models. It never was, nor will it ever be their job to raise my son. And if I raise my son in the way that God intends, then regardless of the influences in the world, no matter how many times he falls, he will stand, he will be strong and very courageous and he will look towards the prize, forget what is behind him and press on. All to the glory of God.
I entered a night cross-country race the other day, and as I am not the fittest person, I ended up walking some of the way and hearing God’s take on this. I believe what He was saying to me is that it doesn’t really matter whether I was in first place or last, what truly mattered was that I was a competitor, I was in a race, my race, and I was determined to finish strong. Not first, but strong.
In the journey of Fatherhood, I can’t pressure myself into finishing first every time, but I can decide to finish strong, and whether that means sprinting for my life or steadily walking and taking in my surroundings, my resolve is that when I cross that finish line, and I will cross it, I will not be a winner or a loser, what I will be is a conquerer.
1 John 3:1 (NIV) – “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
2 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV) – “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
Lets fight for our sons and daughters, let’s go for a run!