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Some Thoughts on Fathers

Saturday, June 16, 2007

With this week being Father's Day and our "Father-Son Camp-Out" last night for Fellowship Baptist Church, I have been thinking a lot about fathers this week, as I am sure many others have been as well.

It does not come as much of a surprise to anyone who looks around to see that we no longer live in a "Father Knows Best" society. In fact, just the opposite is usually true today. It is very rare to see a father portrayed in the media as someone who knows anything - and this has been going on for years. Television has portrayed fathers as inept for years. Whether it is Homer Simpson or Al Bundy or Tim Taylor, the television father is often a goofball who can't quite get anything right.

Not only are fathers portrayed as inept by the media, they are also portrayed as irrelevant. From the Murphy Brown episode of the eighties (and yes, Virginia, Dan Quayle was right) to the "couples" like Rosie and her pal being promoted as good parenting to the repeated celebrity adoptions by single mothers, the role of the father in these situations is seen as unnecessary. Other than supplying a necessary physical ingredient, the father is often out of the picture.

It is not just the media, however, that indicates a lack of importance of the father. A new term has risen up around these parts that underscores the seeming irrelevance of the continued involvement of fathers in the life of a child in today's society - "baby-daddy." When I first heard the term, I thought the person was just talking fast and was speaking about the baby's daddy. However, I have heard the expression a number of times since then and the best that I can understand this new term is a noun that refers to the person who physically fathered the child. It is often used in the context as an expression that marks out the fact that this is not the husband or even the (current) boyfriend, but was the one who "fathered" the child. In some ways, perhaps this is actually a better term, since "father" should be referred to one who actually has more to do with the child's life than providing seed. (Anyone else out there in a place that uses this expression? I did hear it in passing one day on a television show, so maybe it is a more national thing than I think.) The usage of this term and the promiscous relationships that are represented by this again show that an involved father is not part of today's view of fathers.

When you look at the life and ministry and message of Jesus Christ, however, you see that He had a much different picture of fathers. The term "Father" was a term that He frequently used. It was with the phrase "Our Father which art in Heaven" (Matthew 6:9) that He taught His disciples to address God in the Lord's Prayer. It was by this term that He challenged the disciples to be perfect "even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48)." It was by this term that He reminded us that "your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things" (Matthew 6:18) and that "how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matthew 7:11).

Not only did Christ often use "Father" to refer to God the Father, He also often expressed positive expectations of human fathers. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the father is eager to forgive. In the teaching on prayer, he shows that he expects that fathers will give good things to their children when He asks "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?" (Luke 11:11)

When you stop to consider the Biblical picture of a father (best seen by the Perfect Father), some of the things you will find is that in the Bible a father is to be given honor (Ex. 20, Eph. 6), a father is expected to discipline out of love (Heb 12), a father gives good gifts (Matt 7, Luke 11), a father pardons (Luke 15), a father comforts (2 Cor 1:3) and much more.

We need to get back to a Biblical picture of fathers (and The Father), rather than allow ourselves to be caught up with the world's way of thinking about fathers.

A Father's Day Poem

Friday, June 15, 2007

Below is a poem I wrote for Father's Day a couple of years ago. I printed this and put it on some wooden bookmarks and gave them out for Father's Day at church. I think I have posted this before.

A Father's Day Poem

I must be careful
as I live as father,
Love my dear children,
not count them a bother.

Teach them truth
in the way that I live
Show them God's wisdom
in the teaching I give.

Walking in Christ
as I walk before them.
Pointing them always,
always toward Him.

And this is my prayer,
as I pray all my days,
That they live for Christ,
both now and always.

Just my thoughts,


Yes, I am still alive

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I know that you have not heard from me lately. I imagine that not many of you care, but some of you are still coming by and checking things out occassionally, so I will at least put something up today, especially in light of the fact that Pastor Don Johnson has practically called me (and others) out about our lack of writing in this post and Pastor Chris Anderson has "tagged me" in this post.

I will wait until Chris is back from vacation to respond to his tag - I'm sure that will disappoint everyone.

I have just about completed my reading and review of "When You Pray" by Philip Ryken. I hope to submit it to Jason Button of the SI staff by the end of this week. (I was actually hoping to submit it today, but we'll see.)

This coming weekend is our second annual "Father-Son Camp-Out" for Fellowship Baptist Church of Salisbury. Last year we had a great time as we camped out by the Nanticoke River at the Insley's. The Nanticoke is a beautiful river and the time of fellowship with the men was great. I am looking forward to this opportunity of fellowship again.

In a couple of weeks we will be having our second Vacation Bible School at Fellowship Baptist Church. We are using the Regular Baptist Press VBS material called "Rescue Zone." We had in the twenties for our first-ever VBS last year. This year, we are hoping to have a few more as we try to reach out to some additional children in the area around the church.

My job at WM is going well, but is very tiring. Having both husband and wife working nights is a tight juggle with kids. Trying to schedule our nights so that one of us is home with the kids every night and still get in the needed hours has been an interesting juggle. When we were first married, we were able to both work full-time nights, but we could both be gone on the same nights because we had no children at home to be watched.

I have been trying to figure out some additional sources of income (like many others, I am sure). I have not had much progress in this area, however. I have been thinking of starting a couple of side blogs that would have as their purpose to provide some useful information and to provide a revenue stream, but I really do not know if these things actually make any normal people money. I have thought about doing a site of links for Christians (in fact, I even started a blog for this site - here - but have not posted anything but my introduction - and have not put up any ads on it, yet.)

I also have toyed with the idea of doing a "This Day in History" type of site and made a couple of test-posts on a blog for this at , but I am not sure about that either.

I was wondering if any of my readers have any experience with Adsense or with affiliate programs and if they would like to share that experience. I cannot imagine that it is really that worth-while, after all, Jason must have felt that the adsense ads were more problem than they were worth at SI, since he dropped them a long time ago and Greg only had them up briefly on

Anyway, I am rambling. I hope to make a useful post soon.

Just my thoughts,