Faith of Fathers
"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."1
As reported by Chuck Colson in BreakPoint, "Loren Marks, who teaches at the School for Human Ecology at Louisiana State University said, 'An interview with the Australian magazine, Mercatornet, listed some of the reasons why religious beliefs and practices make such a difference for many men.
"'First, married couples who are actively involved in the same faith tend to have stronger, happier marriages and this impacts father-child relationships in a positive way.
"'Second, religious fathers are far less likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs than non-religious fathers, and an estimated 80 percent of child abuse is alcohol related.
"'The third factor is the belief that fathers will be personally accountable to God for their good (or bad) fathering. This [creates] a sacred motivation to be a better father. It's this factor which sets religious life apart as a maker of better fathers.'"2
As H. Jackson Brown, Jr. said, "Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get." And Robert Fulghum, "Don't worry that children never listen to you. Worry that they're always watching you."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, as a father (and/or mother) please help me always to be 'as Jesus' to my children and family members—and everybody else—and so live that they, seeing Jesus in me, will want Jesus for themselves. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Ephesians 6:4 (NIV).
2. Chuck Colson, Faith and Fathers,
BreakPoint, July 27, 2007, www.breakpoint.org