the importance of fatherhood…

importance of fatherhood“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea…”
Matthew 18:6

I have read this verse many times, but I have need really stopped to think about it and apply it to my life, until today. I just heard a sermon in which the pastor described what Jesus was referring to when he spoke about this and how it applies to me as a dad. It is my understanding that what Jesus is referring to is an ancient Greek form of punishment reserved for the very worst of criminals. They would take this criminal on a boat into the middle of the sea, tie a rope around him and around a millstone, which was used to grind wheat into flour. These millstones would weigh anywhere from 200-800 lbs each! The millstone would then be tossed into the sea and the criminal would then sit on the edge of the boat and watch the slack in the rope quickly unwind into the sea, just before they were ripped from the boat and dragged to the bottom where they would drown. What is even more telling is that back in those days, people believed that if you were not able to repay your debts and were able to be buried in the ground by your family, that you would not enter eternal life! In essence, they believe that they were damning these criminals to be stuck at the bottom of the sea forever!!

I tend to be like most people in society today that think of Jesus as the long-haired, soft spoken hippie-type rabbi that taught about love and grace and mercy but this verse makes me stop. In it, we see the God of the universe clearly stating that if anyone misleads or hurts a little child, it would be better for that person to face this terrifying form of death, and eternal damnation at the bottom of a sea, than to face Jesus’ wrath!! Now, I also know that I am saved by His grace and mercy as my Lord and Savior, but it shows me the depth of love and importance that my Lord places on His little children. And I am a father to four of them!! He has given me a tremendous honor and privilege, but He also is calling me to a great responsibility as well. Wow.

How many times do I blow off my children in order to do what I want to do? How many times have I neglected them by turning my attentions to the game, or to my work or the things that I deem most desiring of my attention? Thanks to modern psychology, we know how a father can have a long lasting, even lifelong impact on his children by either pouring himself into them, or into something else. How many people do we know who struggle with self-esteem, or perfectionism, or even more serious emotional wounds, all because their fathers were not there for them? Were those fathers intentionally hurting or neglecting their children? For the majority of them, probably not, but the damage was done and their children stumble through life as a result of their father’s mistakes. I don’t know about you, but I do NOT want to be that man who not only damages his children, but then faces the wrath of a very loving and protective Heavenly Father! I want to be the Dad who protects his children, who covers them with love and guidance and who shelters them from the hurts and pains that so many less fortunate children endure.

Dads, what we do is IMPORTANT. Important not only to our children, but also to our Lord and Savior. It is so easy to get caught up in the rat race of work and “keeping up with the Joneses”, but I pray we all can remember that all of that is insignificant compared to the time and energy that we put into our precious children everyday. For me, it means asking them about their day and really listening to them and not letting my other priorities distract me. It means putting away my iPad and spending time playing Legos, watching their show with them, or matching their enthusiasm as they tell me about their adventures at school that day. It is a lot easier of me to answer an email, or work on a project, than engage with my ten-year-old daughter, but it sure is easier than trying to swim with a millstone around my neck.

I think I hear my daughter calling me. Lates!

(This post was originally posted on the Dad Matters blog page)

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~ by kuiperactive on October 14, 2014.

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