families and fathers

The text I’m studying this week from Galatians 3 has a lot of familial language in it – i.e. it’s loaded with terms like father, sons, children, heirs…etc. This, along with my daughter returning home from college and Father’s day coming Sunday, has me wondering a lot about how I’m doing as a dad?

Needless to say, the Apostle Paul’s admonition in Colossians 3:21 keeps rattling around in my brain, “Fathers, vex not your children…” Ok, so that’s not a great translation – what does vex mean anyway? How about this one – “Dads don’t come down too hard on your kids or you’ll crush their spirits.” My guess is all parents understand this language.

Over the years my prayer has always been not just to be a good Dad but to be a godly one. Not a particularly easy task given my own imperfections. However, I’ve been giving it my best shot. Learning, growing, teaching, modeling, praying and demonstrating grace and authenticity seems to be what’s most important. Yeah, I know…it sounds like a recipe – which is something we all look for. Unfortunately, it’s all not as cut and dry as we’d like to pretend. Parenting is messy business.

Being a kid whose Dad left when I was six months old, the whole fathering thing has always been important to me. What I’ve come to realize is that good parenting starts with Dad and Mom having a healthy loving relationship. Health and love has a trickle down effect. So this weekend, celebrate family. Parents love each other well and loving your kids will follow. And kids, honor your parents – they have a tough job.

Oh yeah…musician and recording artist John Mayer writes a song which reflects some meaningful insight about how our kids learn important things from us parents – like how to love others. The song is entitled, Daughters.  It’s a good tune.

I know a girl

She puts the color inside of my world
But she’s just like a maze
Where all of the walls all continually change
And I’ve done all I can
To stand on her steps with my heart in my hand
Now I’m starting to see
Maybe it’s got nothing to do with me

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Oh, you see that skin?
It’s the same she’s been standing in
Since the day she saw him walking away
Now she’s left
Cleaning up the mess he made
So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Boys, you can break
You’ll find out how much they can take
Boys will be strong
And boys soldier on
But boys would be gone without warmth from
A woman’s good, good heart

On behalf of every man
Looking out for every girl
You are the god and the weight of her world

So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

2 Responses to “families and fathers”

  1. 1 Larry Eisner
    June 14, 2008 at 5:32 am

    I love that song, Daughters… I wonder how much impact it has on those who only have sons??? I know for me, it came out just around when Katherine was starting to talk. And of course it made me all misty-eyed thinking about what kind of woman she’d grow to be, and how important it was to be a good father. Of that latter part, I still feel woefully inadequate. But I’m trying. Or rather, right now, I’m simply chasing after her, fumbling often. But still…I’m thinking things will slow down a bit once Rebekah is talking and (slightly) more rational than the frustrated and impulsive thing we all are prior to being able to talk through your emotional state. 🙂

    But I’m still haunted by the language in the Bible about things like “paying for the sins of the fathers” and such. I know how much sin I did and sadly still do. I don’t want that to fall on my children. And I wonder, when I raise my voice, or when I get too frustrated and hand the kids to my wife and kinda storm out for a time-out, what that’s doing to them. Perhaps I’m overanalyzing since they’re still young and I’m still very much new at this parenting thing… but what if I’m not…

    I dunno… perhaps I’ve gotta start some sort of blog myself, if only to not write such lengthy statements in the comments of other people’s blogs. 🙂

    As always, keep on keeping on, Ray! I love reading your musings.


  2. 2 karen carter
    June 16, 2008 at 4:49 am

    Good job sun. the lighting guy did okay, too.

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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
June 2008
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Thoughts gone by

"No problem can withstand the assault of substantial thinking." Voltaire



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