Father’s day was established by Sonara Smart Dodd from Arkansas in 1910 to honor her father who was a single parent to six children after the death of his wife in childbirth. She held the first celebration at a YMCA in Washington so common ground with LifePoint Church as we spent some of our earlier years at the YMCA in Lake Mary.
Today, Father’s day is celebrated all around the world and honors men that have seized the opportunities that come with fatherhood.
The term opportunistic has negative connotations to us today, however, I believe our Lord and savior Jesus Christ was an opportunist. He never missed an opportunity to teach and share his wisdom with others through his words or actions. He never missed an opportunity for sharing his love and compassion for others by healing and restoring those he met. He also took the opportunity to pray and talk to his father whenever he had the chance.
As we are his sons I believe fatherhood gives us these opportunities as well. After all we are made in the image of our father. Fatherhood gives us the opportunity to develop the character of Christ in ourselves and in our children. As fathers we have to be opportunistic and seize every chance we have to teach our children sound doctrine based on scripture like Psalms 4 through our words and actions.
Of course unlike our Heavenly Father we are not perfect which means our parenting will not be perfect. Many noted men of the bible had sons that did not turn out so well. (1 Samuel 8:3. & 2 Samuel 13).
So what’s at stake here? Here are just two statistics, 85% of all youths in prison are from fatherless homes (20 times the average) and 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes (32 times the average).
What if you don’t have any children of your own? Well you still have a responsibility to be a father figure to those that need one (Titus 2:6-8).Paul gives us a perfect example when he takes on the mentorship of Timothy. He was a young man brought to the faith by his grandmother and mother and Paul was able to act as a father figure in guiding him to his potential.
So as we honor fatherhood remember that the only perfect father is our Heavenly Father. To God be the Glory.
By Kirk St. Lewis, LifePoint Elder