Every once in awhile there is an ad that gets it right when it comes to the moral values in our culture. There is a “Cheerios” ad that shows a married father helping his children through their morning routine, reflecting on his role as dad. “Dadhood isn’t always easy. When a rule is broken, we’re the enforcement. Hey buddy, it’s garbage day. But when a heart is broken, we’re the reinforcement.”
John Stonestreet who blogs over at Breakpoint made this comment regarding the ad. “The last strong father figure on TV was Cliff Huxtable on the Cosby Show. In 1980s television, family was the solution. By the 1990s with shows like Seinfeld and Friends, family had become the problem, and particularly dads like the buffonish Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin from Family Guy.” There is a plaque of fatherlessness in our culture because of absent fathers, both physically and emotionally. The privilege of being a father is not celebrated in our culture. It many cases it is ridiculed as being insignificant in the life of children. The modeling of godly fatherhood is desperately needed in even our churches. Who and where are to models?
Psalm 127 portrays fatherhood as a godly heritage, with children being a reward from him. “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they content with their opponents in court” (3-5) . Eugene Peterson observes, “We didn’t make these marvelous creatures that walk and talk and grow among us. We participated in an act of love that was provided for us in the structure of God’s creation.”
Yes, “dadhood isn’t always easy.” It demands sacrifice and surrender of our selfish egos. This is not affirmed in today’s world. But remember children are a stewardship given fathers. Their formation has been entrusted to us. Your children did not choose you as father; God choose you. So a full quiver of arrows is gift of God. While they are a responsibility, they are not a burden, but a blessing. When brought up in a godly manner, children will be a witness to their father’s integrity. So men, thank God that you are a father, since their are men who have an empty quiver.
I helped raise three children. I now crying out for God to teach me in my role as grandfather to seven grandchildren. So here is some hard earned advice from a “grandpa.” First, give absolute priority to your role as father. After your wife give your best energy and time to your kids. You have them only for so many years. Secondly, don’t let the cultural wars, intimidate you in your role. You are the priest of your family. You lead and set the spiritual tone of your family life. It will not be easy. But accept your role with all humility and surrender to Jesus who is your head. Thirdly, love and cherish the mother of your children. Give them the example of a dad who has sacrificial love for their mother. Fourth, give thanks every day for the gift of your children, while asking for wisdom in knowing how to shape their lives. Be grateful for your quiver.