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Encouragement For Fathers

Built on a rock
Gary Klatt, pastor, St. John Lutheran Church, Luverne

These can be some challenging times for fathers. How important and necessary are we in the “modern” family?
There are numerous reports from many of the social sciences that reveal the breakdown of our families. One of the leading causes is the failure of fathers to carry out their responsibilities to their families. Of this we must all take responsibility and repent; turn from our broken ways and return to the proven ways of the Lord, our heavenly Father and Creator.
We must all remember that God is the creator of this world and has a perfect plan for every part of His creation, including the role of a father. He says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Proverbs 3:11-12 says, “My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”
There is a proven right and wrong that must be taught to our children, and it begins in the home with dad being the teacher by word and deed. Ephes. 6:4 tells us,  “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
A good teacher must also be a good student who is willing to learn as he goes through life. 1 Thes. 2:11-12 says, “For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.” Proverbs 7:1-2 tells us, “My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye.” 
In our “high tech” media world it is sometimes hard to know what we are to teach our families. God is clear where we need to begin.  Psalm 78:4 says, “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.”  Psalm 1:1-3 further instructs, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he does, he prospers.”
Psalm 128:1-4 promises, “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.”
Everyone wants to be successful and to see his or her children succeed. Success is a gift of our heavenly Father. Isaiah 48:17 says, “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.’
But success does not always come to us without mistakes being made and so we must learn what to do when we fail.  James 5:16 instructs, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Success is also a shared blessing, and not only about us. Proverbs 11:24-25 says, “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.  Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” 
To be a father, we need an example, and there is no better Father than the Almighty Father who reveals Himself in the Bible. Learn from Him and you will find real peace and joy in your family.  Proverbs 6:23 says, “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.”
Happy Father’s Day to all!

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