Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Father Time

Upon initial glance at the title, one might think they are about to read of the mythical person, elderly and bearded, dressed in a robe, and carrying a scythe and an hourglass. But this article is not referencing the abstract symbol of the constant one way direction in which time is moving. It is however, a reminder of 1. The brevity of life, and 2. The small amount of time we have to make an impact on our children.

One of my favorite illustrations on parenting comes from Silas Shotwell, written in the periodical Homemade, September, 1987: "Charles Francis Adams, the 19th century political figure and diplomat, kept a diary. One day he entered: "Went fishing with my son today--a day wasted." His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day, Brook Adams made this entry: "Went fishing with my father--the most wonderful day of my life!" The father thought he was wasting his time while fishing with his son, but his son saw it as an investment of time. The only way to tell the difference between wasting and investing is to know one's ultimate purpose in life and to judge accordingly."

This Father's Day, I am thankful for the great blessing God has afforded me to be able to hear the words, "Dad" and "Daddy" from my three sweet, wonderful children. No minute I have ever spent with them in my lifetime has ever been wasted. Time and experience in family counseling has also taught me that the most important thing that you can give your children is your time. If you couple this with the natural, affectionate love all parents should have for their children, and finish it off with the gift of knowledge concerning their heavenly Father, then you have done everything that God expects a parent to do for a child.

According to Dr. George Rekers, a well known minister and psychologist, "A positive and continuous relationship to one's father has been found to be associated with a good self-concept, higher self- esteem, higher self-confidence in personal and social interaction, higher moral maturity, reduced rates of unwed teen pregnancy, greater internal control and higher career aspirations. Fathers who are affectionate, nurturing and actively involved in child-rearing are more likely to have well- adjusted children."

Beyond all of this. I know why I want to spend time with my kids. Because they not only make me a better person, but they give me more satisfaction than anything I could do alone. Second only to salvation, children are the greatest gift any person can receive.

As a Father, I know how much I love my children. It is one of the simplest truths in my life. I have a heavenly Father who feels the same about me. He wants to spend time with me. He gave His only Son to prove it.

"And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." ~ Eph. 6:4

1 comment: