The Power of a Father's Influence
Wishing all fathers a very Happy and God blessed Father's Day
"Fathers, do not exasperate [provoke to anger] your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."1
Many years ago a small Jewish boy asked his father, "Why must we surrender our Jewish faith and start to attend Lutheran services here in Germany?"
The father replied, "Son, we must abandon our faith so that people will accept us and support our business adventures!"
The young lad never got over his disappointment and bitterness. His faith in his father and in his religion were crushed. When the lad left Germany he went to England to study at the British Museum where he formed his philosophies for life. From those intensive investigations he wrote a book that changed the world called, The Communist Manifesto.
From that book one-third of the world fell under the spell of Marxist-Leninist ideology. The name of that little boy was Karl Marx. He influenced billions into a stream that for 70 years ruined, imprisoned and confused many lives. Today, that system of thinking is crumbling, but only after people got a good look at its tragic consequences. The influence of this father's hypocrisy multiplied in infamy. Without godly faith, all of us are subject to distortions in our perspectives.2
As Pope John XXIII said, "It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father."
On the positive side of the coin, however, Mario Cuomo, the famous former Italian governor of New York, said, "I watched a small man with thick calluses on both hands work fifteen and sixteen hours a day. I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet, a man who came here uneducated, alone, unable to speak the language, who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example."
Jim Valvano said, "My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me."
Speaking personally, my father had his struggles, was misunderstood by many (including myself), but he gave me what I believe was the greatest gift any child could ever receive—he took me to a church where I learned about God and His plan of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ my Lord.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, as a father [parent] please help me to so live that my children, seeing the example I set in following your ways and modeling what a real Christian should be, will want to follow my example to follow you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Ephesians 6:4 (NIV).
2. Paul J. Fritz. Cited on http://www.bible.org/illus.asp?topic_id=2