A Good Father
It is hard being a good father, grandfather, stepfather or other father figure. It is much harder in fact to be a Dad than become one!
But what is a good father?
It is widely acknowledged, whether we look at scripture, academic research or day-to-day experience, that fathers make unique and irreplaceable contributions in the lives of their children. Research shows that children with good dads are usually more at ease with other people, have more confidence to do well at school, and are happier.
And fathers have a crucial role to play in the spiritual nurture of their children. Research carried out by the Church of England in 2008 showed that an overwhelming number of dads – 88 per cent – felt that they were responsible for the spiritual care of their child. More dads than mums in fact. Dads clearly want to accept responsibility not only for the physical and financial well-being of their child, but also for their spiritual well-being.
Normal child development includes a child beginning to ask deep questions about life and explore spiritual things. The commitment and encouragement of both parents, and other significant adults, makes a huge difference to that development. How well-equipped do we feel for the task?
Our Father in heaven understands the challenge, and equips us for this God-given work.
God sets the pattern for all earthly dads, and men who walk in his footsteps are following the perfect example.
His affirming love is sacrificial
His guidance is based on wisdom
His discipline is rooted in love
His support comes from a giving heart
The Apostle Paul tells us that every family in heaven and on earth derives its name from God; he is the ultimate Father, able to empower all earthly fathers – all of us in fact – to be the people we need to be and do the things
we need to do, strengthened “with power through his Spirit” (Ephesians 3:15-16). We just need to ask our Father in heaven, who loves to “give good gifts to those who ask him” (Matt 7:11).
All fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, father figures and their families are invited to a celebration and BBQ on Father’s Day, Sunday 19th June, held at Chilton Primary School from 4.30-5.30pm. More information on page 6. It is good and right to celebrate these special men and what they mean to us.
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton