Who Will Be a Father?
Behold the stereotypical modern American father — flabby body planted firmly in the LazyBoy, nose buried in the newspaper; the sum total of his communication with his family consisting of an occasional grunt without not so much as a glance away from the sports page, showing signs of life only during the Super Bowl and the World Series. Intellectually, he is unaware of all that goes on around him. culturally, he is a barbarian. Socially, he is a couch potato. Morally, he is comatose. Others are rearing his children, and his glad to have it so.
“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments; for length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add to thee.” Proverbs 3:1-2
The words of the wise man are strange to us for they picture a godly father who actually talks to his children. Furthermore, his conversation is not frivolous; but serious, profound, pholosophical, peaceful, and life-giving. This wise father talks with his children of laws, of commandments , which will give them length of days, and long life, and peace with God and man. The words of this wise father are health and strength and knowlege to his children. Seems so strange.
Samuel Miller writes: “The man who becomes, by any means, instrumental in guiding a single youth to knowledge, virtue, piety, and true happiness, is a rich public benefactor; for the training of evry such youth is a precious blessing conferred on is generation….Not only are his contemporaries rendered much his debtors; but future generations also will have reason to rise up and call him blessed.”
Such words sound strange to us today, when the manly art of theological and philosophical discussion has all but vanished, when the patriarchal duty of tenderly and wisely counselling the younger generation has passed. Perhaps it is time that we set aside the newspaper, turn off the tube, and gather the family around the dining room table and see if we can revive the old tradition of family conversation. After a little bit of practice, we might even be able to give a bit of good advice.
“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also and said unto me, Let ting heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom and understanding; forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdomis the principal thing; therfore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.” Proverbs 4:1-10
I think these are the issues that differentiate between a father and a sperm donor. No answers out loud please, which are you?