September 27, 2008

Applying The Books of Matthews, John and Luke To Fathers In The 21st Century

Being a father is a magical and humbling event in a man’s life regardless of his age. Fathers go through many transformations as they age. The Gospel according to Matthew starting in Chapter One from verse one to sixteen reads who beget whom. These are men who beget children through out the chapters. In verse six of Chapter One, David who is King beget Solomon, but from an affair with Uria’s wife. Despite this, Solomon grew to become one of the wisest men in history and anointed by God. In the face of the sin of David a good thing became of it. Reading further, in verse sixteen Jacob beget Joseph who went on to marry Mary who was carrying Jesus, later called Christ. Jesus was not the result of intercourse between Mary and Joseph, but from an event that is Biblical in nature. Joseph took upon the role and responsibility of an earthy father to Jesus and eventually a husband to Mary (Chapter 1:20).

The responsibilities of a father and husband are sometimes the result of influences and circumstances that are beyond understanding. Affairs of the heart and of the body cannot be justified, but God can bring a good thing from sin. "He spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (Luke 18:1). Temptation comes in the flesh, and we are all tempted, but the result of fainting is in one’s spirit when we as men give in to the temptation. Being a man also includes making decisions not just for ourselves, but for others.In the case of Joseph, how many men would care for and raise a child from a situation of Mary’s? Joseph listened to the Word of God. How many men would listen or ignore those words? What about David’s situation, many men have circum to the temptations of the flesh, but this does not mean the sin has to consume them. They need to pray for forgiveness and accept the responsibility of the sin and importantly not repeat it. We are all born into a world of sin, but we do not have to have the world in us. God punished David for his sins as we all are punished, but as men we must recognize and respond accordingly to our sinful urges. We are models to younger men who watch us and seek guidance. This guidance does not always come in words, but in our actions.Throughout time many men have not worshipped God openly as fathers to show their children a better prayer life, and how it can lead to a life filled with the presence of God. In John, Chapter 4:24 God is a spirit and we must worship in spirit and truth.

Fathers, our spiritual energies do not compare to our emotional energies in our sports teams. How different would our lives be as fathers and men if our prayer life is as strong as our enthusiasm for our sports teams? As men we love to model “manly behavior” for our sons in sporting events, but how many of us display the same amount of dedication and devotion in our prayer life? In Matthew Chapter 6:33, what should we seek in a prayer life? “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”. How much of a difference would it make in children respecting their mothers and fathers if fathers are actively modeling respect? How much of a difference would it make if our children did pray as their fathers prayed throughout the day for guidance and wisdom? We cannot afford to be critical of those who worship in the name of God when their faith is strongly openly displayed, but our faith is hidden behind embarrassment, shame or weakness. When emotions are displayed by men their sons follow suite. When was the last time we drank a beer watching football or hockey and thought or said, “I can’t wait for my son to be old enough to join me!” To coincide with this when was the last time we had our sons pray with us and share in devotion? Is it easier to share beer time than prayer (devotional) time?

The world is changing daily, as in Revelation Chapter 1:3 “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand”. The time is at hand now fathers when our young sons are killing each other for drugs, sex, weapons, and other things they view as momentarily satisfying, but easily fleeting.In Matthew Chapter 3:17 God says, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. Our young men in today’s society need to hear this more from their fathers, if our heavenly father can say it to his son, why can’t earthly fathers say it to their sons? Maybe if this were the case, our young men in our Black and other communities would not have as many violent deaths as they do. Let us all remember the two institutions that desire our children, Educational and Institutional. It is up to us as men to guide our children to the correct one.Fathers must realize the responsibility of their place in a child’s life regardless if they are in the home or not, regardless of the “Baby Mama Drama” that sometimes happens. It is cowardice to make excuses for not calling or writing just to say “I love you” and “How are you doing”. It is inexcusable for not taking time to eat lunch with your child, but we can take the time to “run with the boys”. How many more cases of our young men dropping out of school, physical aggression towards women, drugs, crime and violence will it take for more men to tell their sons, “I Love You” and I’m proud of you. Fathering is a balance of discipline, love, negotiation, trust and communication. It does not come easy as I can testify being a parent.

The goal is to help raise productive adults who will lead positive and God loving lives. As the African proverb states, “it takes a village to raise a leader” (Paterson, K 2001, Our village; the African American community needs to unite our Black men and start loving and teaching our young Black men to pray and be prayerful in all things before we lose yet another generation. It is not the mayors, nor the governors, nor the Presidents responsibility to raise Black men, but the responsibility of Black men to raise Black men. Men that respect women, respect community and first respect and pray to an almighty God. We as men have a bond that extends generations. That transpired to and from the Mother Land. When are we going to live up to the legacy of Kings, Generals, Teachers, Physicians, Pastors, Scientists and community leaders? It takes a leader, but the men are supposed to lead first. What will it take for more of us to start leading?

William Jackson, M.Ed.
(c) Copyright William Jackson 2008. All rights reserved.

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