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The Word For Today

Father 3

'My son, if your heart is wise, my heart will rejoice.' Proverbs 23:15 NKJV

Author and pastor James Merritt, in his book Friends, Foes and Fools, reports that fatherless children are 100 to 200 per cent more likely to experience emotional and behavioural problems...twice as likely to use drugs and alcohol...more likely to become sexually active at an early age...and three times more likely to commit violent crime. Over 50 per cent of teens who attempt suicide live in single-parent homes. Most runaways leave fatherless homes, and boys without fathers are 300 per cent more likely to end up incarcerated. Seventy per cent of juveniles in long-term correctional facilities grew up without a father. Fatherless daughters are 53 per cent more likely to marry in their teens, and 164 per cent more likely to have children outside of marriage. Fatherless daughters who marry have a 92 per cent higher divorce rate, and fatherless sons are 35 per cent more likely to experience marital failure. Eighty per cent of teenagers admitted to psychiatric hospitals come from fatherless homes, and are 50 per cent more likely to grapple with learning disabilities. They fare worse in school and are three times more likely to drop out than kids who grew up in a home with a father. His book also mentions that it's possible to be physically present, yet emotionally absent, quoting that one poll said that many fathers said they feel guilty about spending too little time with their children. According to the Family Research Council, the average dad spends eight minutes a day in direct conversation with his kids. And in families where the mum works outside the home it drops to four minutes.

If you find these statistics shocking, wake up and do something about it!

Soulfood: Ezek 37:1-40:9 Lk 1:11-25 Ps 73:1-16 Pro 15:18-21,


Father 2

'My son...let your heart keep my commands.' Proverbs 3:1 NKJV

If you're a dad, God expects you to be the leader in your family.

That means: (1) You must want to lead. Without good leadership, the chances are your children are headed for a life of trouble. Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr said, 'If you look at the one factor that most closely correlates with crime, it's not poverty, it's not unemployment, it's not education; it's the absence of the father in the family.' (2) You must know where you're going. Without clear direction for your own life, you can't guide your kids. God expects you to enable your children to make wise decisions in such crucial areas of life as sex, money, relationships, marriage and the vocations they choose. These are make-or-break issues. It's your job to teach them both in precept and practice what those crucial life issues are, and to help them make godly decisions in each one. (3) You must 'be there' for them. Let's use this acrostic on the word DADS: Direction. Availability. Discipline. Spirituality. The most crucial component on the list is 'availability'. Why? Because if you're not available you can't give direction, your discipline will be resented, and your spiritual leadership will be rejected.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and if you don't lead your children, someone will lead them for you. If you're not there for them someone else will be - someone you may not like. And when that happens, the greater problem isn't that you won't be around; it's that you'll no longer be missed! In the Bible, God is called 'Our Father'. So today ask him to help you become the father your children need.

Soulfood: Mt 5:4 Is 51:1-16 Ps 30 2 Cor 1:3-7,


Father 1

'Hear the instruction of your father.' Proverbs 1:8 NKJV

One day a man went into a barber's and noticed a young man sweeping the floor. After talking to him, he learned that the boy had no dad in his life. 'Son,' the man asked, 'who do you want to be like when you grow up?' The boy shot back, 'Mister, I ain't never met nobody I want to be like when I grow up.'

Do you believe that at least one of every child's heroes should be his or her dad? Do you genuinely want to be a hero to your children? If you do, you'll have to make time for them, and work at being the father they need. If you don't, they may pick the wrong heroes and end up breaking your heart.

Child psychologist Wade F. Horn considered himself an expert on what made a good father. But when doctors diagnosed him with cancer and told him that he had about six years to live, he realised with a jolt that he was closer to primary school than university in his level of expertise as a dad. He said, 'It became clear to me in a personal way that if I were to have died because of that illness, my unfinished business would not have been my clinical practice...My unfinished business would have been my two little girls, who every morning when I was recuperating, would come and give me a kiss goodbye.' Fortunately (or unfortunately) most dads will never get a wake-up call of this nature. But if you've been neglecting your kids, a wake-up call is exactly what you need.

Soulfood: Ezek 34-36 Lk 1:1-10 Ps 80:12-19 Pro 15:15-17,

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