“The glory of children is their father.” Proverbs 17:6
We who are fathers need to understand the influence we have on our children. This influence can be for the good or for the worse. We need to wield our influence carefully. We’re carrying a loaded gun. We need to be careful where we aim it!
Research shows that many gang leaders and some popular rappers who espouse some very angry lyrics have been deeply wounded by their fathers. Many involved in violent crimes have father wounds. Yes, fathers hold a lot of power in shaping the life of a child.
When a father is a godly man he becomes the glory of his children. (Proverbs 17:6) This means that our children are able to see the glory of God in us when we as men determine to be men of God. Our spiritual legacy will leave a trail of godly influence that can last for several generations. The apostle Paul knew of this great influence when he wrote, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). We can provoke our children when what we expect of them is unrealistic; or when we punish them with emotional coldness when they disappoint us; or when we demonstrate that they are not important to us by making something else the focus of our time and energy. I have counseled with many adults who are filled with anger because alcohol or making money consumed their father’s time and energy leaving little or nothing for them.
Truly, one of the greatest gifts you can give to your children is your time. For it takes time to raise a child in the “training and admonition of the Lord.” To train a child is to teach them how to live and provide loving discipline when they stray from that teaching. It takes time to be there to warn and admonish them when they have done the wrong thing. It takes time to show them you care and give them the loving affirmation they need.
All dads fail. All of us come up short at times. That’s why an important part of being a father of godly influence is to admit when you are wrong. It takes a real man to say to his son of daughter, “I was wrong. Please forgive me.” The respect you earn when you model this kind of humility is enormous.
All of us dads will leave a legacy for our children. Let us determine that this will be a godly legacy. The words of the song, “Find us Faithful” come to mind. Read them carefully.
After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone and our children sift through all we’ve left behind; may the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover become the light that leads them to the road we each must find. O, may all who come behind us find us faithful. May the fires of our devotion light their way. May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe and the lives we live inspire them to obey. O, may all who come behind us find us faithful.