Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Vision (6/13/13): Fathers, provoke not your children

One of the most timely and striking news stories that appeared in this week before Father’s Day was one from a Richmond, Virginia television station that reported on the rising number of single parent homes in our state capital.

An organization called “First Things First” reported that 60% of all families in Richmond are single parent families.  In the African-American community, that number spikes to an unbelievable 86 %.  Of course, most of these single parent homes are ones with a single mother who is raising children without the daily presence and support of a father.

The report also noted the toll that homes without fathers can have on children, citing Department of Health and Justice statistics which report that 63% of youth suicides, 71% of high school dropouts, and 70% of incarcerated juveniles come from fatherless homes.

When Paul wrote his epistle to the Ephesians, he offered a ‘’household code,” instructing Christians as to how to organize and interact in their extended families, addressing the relationship between wives and husbands, children and parents, servants and masters (see Eph 5:22—6:9).  When addressing the child-parent relationship, Paul specifically addressed fathers telling them, “provoke not your children to wrath” (6:4).  The NIV renders the phrase, “do not exasperate your children.”

No doubt, we Christian fathers will not always perform our duties as providers, leaders, and encouragers as we should.  We are always thankful that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).  We know both intuitively and from the explicit counsel of God’s Word how we should be.  May the Lord raise up a vast number of Christian men in our generation who have taken up the call to be godly husbands and fathers to reverse the current slide and give salt and light to a dying culture.    

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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