A strong faithful father is ...
You’re going to meet an old man someday! Down the road ahead -- 10, 20, 30 years -- he’s waiting there for you. You’ll be catching up with him! What kind of old man are you going to meet? That’s a rather significant question! He may be a seasoned, soft, generous fellow -- a gentleman who has grown old gracefully, surrounded by hosts of friends who call him blessed because of what his life has meant to them. He may be a bitter, disillusioned, dried-up, cynical old buzzard without a good word for anybody -- soured, friendless, and alone. The kind of old man you will meet depends entirely on you, because the old man will be you. He’ll be the composite of everything you do, say, and think -- today and tomorrow. His mind will be set in a mold you have made by your attitudes. His heart will be turning out what you’ve been putting in. Every little thought, every deed, goes into the making of this old man. He’ll be exactly what you make him -- nothing more, nothing less. It’s up to you. You’ll have no one else to credit or blame.
Every day in every way you are becoming more and more like yourself. Amazing, but true! You’re getting to look more like yourself, think more like yourself, and talk more like yourself. You’re becoming yourself more and more. Live only in terms of what you’re getting out of life and the old man gets smaller, drier, harder, crabbier, and more self-centered. Open your life to others, think in terms of what you can give to life and the old man grows larger, softer, kinder, greater. A point to remember is that these things don’t always show immediately, but they show up sooner than you think. These little things -- so unimportant now -- attitudes, goals, ambitions, desires -- they’re adding up inside, where you can’t see them, crystallizing in your heart and mind. Someday, you’ll harden into that old man and nothing will be able to soften or change them.
The time to take care of that old man is right now -- this week, today. Examine his motives, attitudes, goals. Check up on him. Work him over while he’s still plastic, still in a formative condition. The day comes, awfully soon, when it’s too late. The hardness will have set in, worse than paralysis. Character crystallizes, sets, jells. That’s the finish.
Any wise man takes inventory regularly. We all need to, in the light of Christ and His Word. You’ll be much more likely to meet a splendid old fellow at the proper time -- the fellow you’d like to be. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7). Authored by Richard C. Halverson, a minister of the Gospel, United Presbyterian Church 1958-81, and among other duties served as chaplain of the U.S. Senate from 1981-94.
[Psalm 127] “Father’s Day” is a day set aside each year to honor our fathers for a job well done. In addition, it is a day to remind fathers of the influential impact they have on their children as well as society. “As the home goes, so goes the nation.” A strong nation is comprised of strong godly homes; homes led by strong and faithful fathers who:... love the Lord (Mark 12:29-30); ... love their wife (Eph. 5:25-26); ... love God’s Word and share it with family (2 Tim. 2:15; Eph. 6:4; Acts 10:30-33); ... are faithful to the Lord and His church (1 Cor. 15:58); ... communicate well (James 1:19-20); ... provide for their family (1 Tim. 5:8); ... Pray fervently and without ceasing (James 6:16; 1 Thess. 5:17); ... non-abusively discipline their children when necessary (Proverbs 13:24; 22:15). Fathers heed these teachings of scripture, building strong homes and a strong nation.
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at email@example.com. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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