So the children go
Our grandson became a father a few months ago and I sent him a text as soon as I heard the baby had been born, “Congratulations! Praying for you, Jamie, and the baby. An amazing feeling isn’t it?” He texted me back a picture (of course) of his newborn daughter and the reply, “Can’t even put it into words, Papa! I wanna scream in joy, cry, laugh, smile; never let her go!” I can’t help but think he will be a good, if not great, father, because he has a good father who also had a good father.
The idea of Father’s Day was conceived by Sonora Dodd of Spokane,Wash., while she listened to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a widowed Civil War veteran who was left to raise six children on a farm. A day in June was chosen for the first Father’s Day celebration, because it was the month of William Smart’s birthday -- June 19, 1910 -- proclaimed by Spokane’s mayor. The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966, when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day and has been celebrated annually since 1972, when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.
[Proverbs 23:22-24; Hebrews 12:7-11] An article, “Fathers: Key to Their
Children’s Faith” by Michael Craven published in The Christian Post, June 19, 2011, reflects an even greater truth today as to the downfall of society in general, the family, masculinity, and male leadership as designed by God. The complete article is enlightening and in the stats of a study presented, the author concludes, “It is the religious practice of the father of the family that, above all, determines the future attendance at or absence from church of the children.”
The study reports: 1. If both father and mother attend regularly, 33 percent of their children will end up as regular churchgoers, and 41 percent will end up attending irregularly. Only one quarter will end up not practicing at all. 2. If father is irregular and mother regular, only 3 percent of the children will subsequently become regular themselves. While a further 59 percent will become irregulars, 38 percent will be lost. If the father is non-practicing and mother regular, only 2 percent of the children will become regular worshippers and 37 percent will attend irregularly. More than 60 percent of their children will be lost to the church.
What happens if the father is regular and the mother is irregular or non-practicing? Amazingly, the percentage of children becoming regular goes up from 33 percent to 38 percent with the irregular mother and up to 44 percent with the non-practicing. This suggests that the loyalty to the father’s commitment grows to the mother’s laxity or indifference to religion. In short, if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular).
One of the reasons suggested for this distinction is that children tend to take their cues about domestic life from Mom, while their concepts of the world outside come from Dad. If Dad takes faith in God seriously, then the message to their children is that God should be taken seriously. Too many men, including professional Christian men, express their role as father exclusively in terms of financial provider.
The fact is children are not looking for financial provision; they are looking for love, guidance, and a role model for what it means to be a man. There is simply no substitute for the love, involvement, and commitment of a responsible father.
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.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
A creepy Halloween party appetizer (October 19, 2016)
Applying for Social Security (October 19, 2016)
Chili Cook-off to benefit Wilson County youth (October 19, 2016)
DRT joins Heritage Music Festival (October 19, 2016)
DRT to meet Oct. 24 in Kerrville (October 19, 2016)
Enjoy Harvest Festival in Marion (October 19, 2016)
Enter Pecan Bake Show (October 19, 2016)
Little Golden Books (October 19, 2016)
Make plans for Halloween fun and fall fests (October 19, 2016)
Meeting the needs of the community: St. Vincent de Paul (October 19, 2016)
R&B legend opens Carver season Oct. 29 (October 19, 2016)
Readers share their spooky tales, part two (October 19, 2016)
Road Runners plan Oct. 22 group run (October 19, 2016)
See country legends Oct. 22 (October 19, 2016)
Try your hand at square dancing (October 19, 2016)
Turn yard waste into gardener’s gold (October 19, 2016)
Baptist church to ring in 100 years (October 12, 2016)
Church plans Junk and Treasure Sale (October 12, 2016)
Comal Country Music Show is Oct. 18 (October 12, 2016)
Davy Crockett (October 12, 2016)
Enjoy fried chicken in Poth Oct. 23 (October 12, 2016)
Enjoy this flashy winter resident (October 12, 2016)
Join in the 2016 Rosary Crusade (October 12, 2016)
National Charity League plans celebration (October 12, 2016)
New program increases student knowledge of E-cigarette dangers (October 12, 2016)
Play bunco in La Vernia Oct. 22 (October 12, 2016)
Pondering a poignant letter from the past (October 12, 2016)
Save the date for Oct. 22 March for Life (October 12, 2016)
Should you redeem old savings bonds? (October 12, 2016)
Show Barn Cook-off approaching (October 12, 2016)
Sutherland Springs Old Town Day (October 12, 2016)
The business of aging grows more complex (October 12, 2016)
Try your luck at China Grove Lions Club Casino Night (October 12, 2016)
Atascosa County Craft Show seeks vendors (October 5, 2016)
Beautify your landscape with cacti (October 5, 2016)
Experience Oktoberfest in San Antonio (October 5, 2016)
Gilded peanuts and golden memories — recalling past Floresville Peanut Festivals (October 5, 2016)
Japan Fest set for Oct. 16 (October 5, 2016)
Meal service delivery options for seniors who don’t cook (October 5, 2016)
Oktoberfest comes to Floresville Oct. 15 (October 5, 2016)
Past Pirate champions will never be forgotten (October 5, 2016)
Readers share their ‘spooky’ tales (October 5, 2016)
Sacred Springs PowWow (October 5, 2016)
Shorter teapot (October 5, 2016)
Sinatra tribute comes to Kerrville (October 5, 2016)
Stockdale librarian updates Blue Bonnet Club members (October 5, 2016)
Sunnyside 4-H Bake Sale (October 5, 2016)
Time for turkey in Cestohowa (October 5, 2016)