It was on a Sunday evening, partway through the church service, when the little girl in front of me managed to dislodge her ponytail holder. I watched as the young daddy tried, and tried, and retried to replace the uncooperative hairballs onto the braid of his patient, understanding daughter. I knew all too well the feeling of exasperation and panic that can accompany that simple, motherly task when done by a daddy’s hand, especially when he can feel an audience of eyes watching.
“For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me” (1Co 4:15,16). June is the month of Father’s Day. The role of the godly father in the life of the conservative Biblical church is inestimable. What character traits of fathers do we depend on to be an influence for spiritual conservatism? Can we invite the rising generation to be followers of us?
God is our loving Father Who created us and made the whole universe. When man sinned, He made a way for us to come back to Him. He loved us so much He sent Jesus His son to die for our sins. His son rose on His own power and offers us salvation so we can come back to our Father in Heaven. Through this, our loving Father sent an advocate the Holy Spirit to help us while we are still here on Earth. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are three in one and all mankind need to come to Jesus and follow Him.
There are a few things that all humanity has in common. One of these is mothers. While we all have a mother in a biological sense, not all of us “have” a mother in the same way. For some of us, our mothers have already passed on; others of us may have never known our mother. Some of us who have Godly mothers are fortunate and blessed to have our mothers with us today. One thing for sure, if a mother is present, she will always have an influence, be it good or bad.
What do you believe about child evangelism? How do you answer the person who is thrilled about their son or daughter receiving the Lord at a very young age? What do we believe? It is very important what we believe because it will play out in our life.
I recall a number of years ago the story of a young family who had joined an Anabaptist church from a non-Christian background. They were so happy to be part of God’s family and the Christian brotherhood. Soon they realized this group had the added blessing of a Christian Day School for their children to attend. How delighted they were. It wasn’t long; however, after their children were in attendance, they became disappointed at the stories coming home with their children about the carnal behavior of the students from this Christian Day School. What was going on?
My wife and I were invited to a sign language class by our deaf friend. She was teaching us ASL (American Sign Language), and she wanted us to meet the people from her church. Most of the people were like us, learning how to communicate through sign language. We were greeting other folks when I asked a couple how long they were married. The woman replied, “Too long!”
At work one day, an elderly couple was checking out at the register. I appreciate hearing from older people how long they have been married, so I asked them, “How long have you been married?”
“Things are different than they used to be,” Uncle Jon told his sister. “They just have to get used to it.” Uncle Jon had gotten used to various changes in his Mennonite church life. As a young man, he got used to the idea of discarding the plain suit in favor of a lapel suit. (When Jon appeared ready for church in his new suit one Sunday morning, his father chuckled at the boldness of his son; his mother cried.) Jon enjoyed courting a young woman who also followed worldly fads, then got used to a wife who cut her hair and later discarded her covering.
Traveling down the freeway, I saw it again. The bumper sticker on the luxury motor home said, “We’re spending our children’s inheritance.” Would we have seen this forty or fifty years ago? I think not. What has changed?
My mind went to the Sunday morning devotional. Brother Merlin’s (all names changed for confidentiality) chosen Scripture centered around Proverbs 23:23. Buy the truth, and sell it not; also, wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. Buy the truth? How does one do that? Sell it not; how could one sell the truth?