Learning to love the father you have
By Pastor Philip Munroe
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all of the fathers. For many fathers, Father's Day is not a happy day. For many, Father's Day is met with much gloom, heartache, and pain resulting from solitude and loneliness. This is a day when many should be surrounded by the love and smiling faces of their children and loved ones who celebrate their fatherhood. But this is not the case in many situations. Many fathers are not shown love or have ever been honored or celebrated, in any way, for various reasons, by their families. Many have been "thrown out with the bath water." Some wished they had different fathers. Some wished their friend's father was their father. Whatever the reasons may be, you have to learn to love the father you have.
In this life that we live, we must make the most of every second of it with our loved ones, and live life to the fullest. We see this in scripture where Jesus said that He came that we should have abundant life, "I came that you might have life ... abundantly" (John 10:10) (read scriptures along online at www.biblestudytools.com). Therefore, if we are to live life to the fullest, we must understand that: 1). The best use of LIFE is LOVE ("love is important ... it ties everything together" Colossians 3:14 CEV). 2). The best expression of LOVE is TIME ("...faith expressing itself through love" Galatians 5:6 NIV). 3). The best time to LOVE is NOW ("whenever you can, do good..." Proverbs 3:27-28).
You must love your fathers now. Not tomorrow! Not later! Not someday! Not one of these days! Not soon! Now!!! If you have an opportunity to show love to your father, show it now! Show it while he is alive! Show it even if he is not deserving of it! Show it even though he may have been anything but a father to you! If there is one thing that you should never, ever postpone it is showing love! Why? Because you do not know when you or your father is going to die, so rather than putting it off do it NOW!
I know some of you might be thinking, but Pastor Munroe, you don't know my father! 1). The man was never "there" for me! 2). We don't have "that" kind of relationship! 3). We're not even on speaking terms! 4). I don't think he knows what it means to be a father. 5). I could never love my father! 6). As a matter of fact, I hate him for what he did (or did not do).
If that is you, I hear you! I feel for you and I sympathize with you, because chances are, all of those things are facts and your feelings are real and perhaps even justified. But God's words are True, Righteous and Just! They can heal your broken heart, bind up your wounds, turn your hatred into love, your bitterness into forgiveness, your stubbornness into willingness and your pain into praise! God is challenging all of us, during this Father's Day period, to learn to love the father we have.
When we look at statistics, this challenge of all challenges, may for many of us, be the most difficult of all to accept, for statistics clearly state that the absence of a father's love in a home impacts every area of the life of our communities. For example: 1). 63 percent of youth suicides are from fatherless homes U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census. 2). 85 percent of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes Center for Disease Control. 3). 80 percent of rapists come from fatherless homes Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14, p. 403-26. 4). 71 percent of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools. 5). 70 percent of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report Sept., 1988. 6). 85 percent of all youth sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home Fulton County, Georgia jail populations & Texas Dept. of Corrections, 1992. 7). 75 percent of people in drug abuse centers come from fatherless homes.
Based on these statistics, fatherlessness is the most significant family or social issue that is facing our society today. Most fatherless children grow up to be fatherless adults who eventually have children of their own, and unless the church or some other organization teach them what it means to be a father, these statistics, which are already alarming, will continue to climb.
Now on the other hand, there are fathers who have taken their rightful positions in their children's lives and within their homes. Within their homes, God positioned them to be the head or the visionary, leader or authority figure. Just as children would often time tell their parents that they did not ask to come into this world, fathers never asked to be head. It was conferred on them by God (1 Corinthians 11:13).
This headship comes with great responsibilities: 1). To provide for their family - a home, food, clothes, security, education, transportation, vacation, etc. 2). Protect their family spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. 3). Plan or make decisions that will positively affect their families. This is where most fathers fail and why it is imperative that we love them, because not all fathers (though they are the head) make good decisions.
If we are going to learn to love our fathers, we must: 1). Pray for them, that Christ would be the center of their lives and that they would be in subjection to Him as their Head. 2). We must also pray that God would give them godly wisdom to lead their families and be better fathers and have the ability to make good decisions that will help to edify and strengthen their families. 3). We must show them mercy when they "blow it" just like God was merciful and gracious to Adam (the first man and father) when he blew it.
Remember that fathers are still humans just like everyone else, and subject to mistakes. They hurt too. They have feelings too. They cry too and experience pain. Fathers, just like mothers and children, are vulnerable and susceptible to pains of rejection, grief, failure, frustration, disappointment, heartache, mental, verbal, emotional and physical abuse!
If there ever was a time that we need to love the fathers that we have, that time is now! If God demonstrated His love to us while we were yet sinners, then regardless to how ungodly, un-Christ-like, un-churched, wic-ked, sinful and depraved your father may be, god requires you to imitate Him by loving your father.
God Bless all of you and all of our fathers. Pastor Philip Munroe. email@example.com.
© 2012 The Freeport News