The Bible puts a premium on Fatherhood and has much to say about the subject. There are over 70 verses on the responsibilities of fathers in Scripture. In what is considered the “Greatest Commandment” (Matt 22:37), Jesus cited Deuteronomy 6:5, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” This is followed by a significant directive for parents- to teach God’s most important commandment to their children. “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
So, if I am reading this correctly, God is entrusting the teaching of His “greatest commandment,” the one that is the embodiment of the whole law (Matt 22:40) to fathers and mothers. Talk about responsibility! But there is a blessing also.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”
Leading our children to follow the Lord is a blessing indeed! In fact, it is an ongoing aim at our church to grow the next generation of Christ followers, as we train and equip disciples who will make disciples. That is God’s method (2 Timothy 2:2). Just a note to those who do not have children of their own- you are still charged with training up the next generation. There is always someone who can learn from your experiences and glean from your Christian testimony. Needless to say, Father’s Day at ICC will be a time to discover what God’s blessings and challenges are- not only to dads but to all who follow Jesus.
-Pastor Joe Garofalo