Pastor’s Desk June 17th

Scripture Passage:  “And you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  Ephesians 6:4
Dear Friends,
     Happy Father’s Day to all my male friends who belong to the elite club of fatherhood.  I often say anyone can father a child, but it takes a special man to be a daddy.  I look back on the years when my children were small and think about the worries and responsibilities I had as a young man.  I thought when they grew up and could do things on their own, my worries would be over.  I have found that not to be true.  My worries have increased even if my responsibilities have declined. All my children are on their own and doing quite well, but they are always on their daddy’s mind and in his prayers.
     If I could go back and do some things over, I would try not to become angry over some of the trivial things my children did when they were young.  Looking back, I realize they were just being children.  I wanted them to be little adults.  I wanted them to talk like adults, (no baby talk) act like adults, (no horseplay and foolishness) and sit still when in church and school meetings.  (Yeah, right.  Like that was going to happen.)  We made it through that period and most of the time I just let them be kids.  There were a few instances I embarrassed my children in the way I corrected and disciplined them in public.  If I could go back and have a “do over” I would correct what I did and be more loving and considerate in my actions and words toward them.
     What does it mean to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?  The ESV says this is the discipline and instruction of the Lord. My daddy taught me how to work and how to do certain things that would benefit me with a family of my own.  He taught me about integrity, honesty, a good name, and hard work.  He taught me to manage my money and time, but it was my momma that taught me the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  From my earliest recollections, my momma taught me to read the Bible and pray.  She taught me the Golden Rule and established a strong sense of right and wrong. She was the one who took us to church and taught us to love and respect God and His house.  My home was a household of faith because of my momma, not my daddy.  My grandfather was the male Christian influence in my life.  He would always have his Bible marked with passages he had read and wanted to discuss them with me.  He was there when I preached my first sermon, and he was always there for me to talk to about spiritual matters.   I have always missed that being a part of my relationship with my dad.
     Today’s world is so much different than when I was raising my children.  Sexual gender and identity issues permeate our culture and are constantly in the news.  Patty and I just taught our girls to be young ladies and our son to be a young man.  Today’s society is so confused they do not even know which bathroom to go to.  The drug and alcohol abuse that is so prevalent today existed then, but we tried to teach our children to honor God with their actions and words.  I do not know if they ever tried it or not, but their lives today show evidence of purity from substance abuse.  The Scripture “Train up a child in the way it should go, and when it is old it will not depart from it” has been the life verse to raise my children by.  So far, it is working with my children and grandchildren.  We have not been the perfect family, nor are we now, but God has been faithful to honor his Word.  As a father, I am proud of the inheritance and blessing God has given me in my children.  I pray you are also.
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny