Next Sunday, we will be honouring all our fathers on Father’s Day. It is good that we take the time to recognize them and let them know how much we love and appreciate them. However, there are many children in the world who suffer much because they are fatherless. Charles Colson in his book, How Now Shall We Live, highlighted the problem:
- Children of divorce suffer intense grief, which often lasts many years. Even as young adults, they are nearly twice as likely to require psychological help.
- Crime and substance abuse are strongly linked to fatherless households. Sixty percent of rapists grew up in fatherless homes, as did 72 percent of adolescent murderers and 70 percent of all long-term prison inmates.
Although we may think that the above is an American problem, yet we should not ignore the fact that divorce rate has been rising in our nation too. We are seeing more and more broken homes in our society today. As such, it is incumbent that Christian fathers should set the example and shine for Christ by leaving lasting legacies to our children so that they in turn will continue to impact their children for Christ.
At the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan, his son Michael gave this tribute, “I was so proud … to be Ronald Reagan’s son… He gave me a lot of gifts as a child … But there’s a gift he gave me that I think is wonderful for every father to give every son … the gift that he was going to be with his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ … He told me about his love of God, his love of Christ as his Saviour… And I hope to honour my father by giving my son, Cameron … that very same gift he gave to me.”
Michael Tait shared two of the most important things he learned from his dad:
- Love people. “He cried … he laughed with people. Everybody was his friend. He couldn’t care less about your race … nationality … socioeconomic status, whatever. All he care about was you, your soul.”
- Live for God. “Don’t get caught up in the things of this world, because they’re just fleeting. The world will get the best of you if you let it, so live for God.
Know God, Love people and Live for God – these are the legacies we should leave to our children. I pray that by God’s grace, we will rise up to this challenge.
Rev. Mark Tay