“And I will be a father to you,and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18 ESV)
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” — Mother Theresa.
Peace is something we all long for — for the people in Ukraine, or in the Middle East or in Sudan – and also for ourselves. We need peace and security when we do our grocery shopping, send our children to school or gather together in a place of worship. Senseless violence has invaded these otherwise safe places.
What does fatherhood have to do with promoting peace?
As children grow up they feel secure when they are loved and treated with fairness. They imbibe what they see in and hear from their father and mother. They seek standards of what is right and wrong. They search for meaning in the world around them.
Fathers specially play an important role in the life of children. The National Fatherhood Initiative of www.fatherhood.org. cites the impact of fathers’ involvement or non-involvement with their children, e.g.,
- Adolescent / teen boys who live with their dads are less likely to carry guns and deal drugs;
- Children who live with their dads do better in school;
- Involved dads reduce mom’s parenting stress;
- Children living without their father in the home are more likely to live in poverty;
- Men with absent fathers are more likely to be absent fathers themselves.
Looking back on my experiences as a father I must confess that there were things I wish I had done differently. I hope that my children will be charitable and forgive me. I ask the Lord Jesus to cover my shortcomings with His grace and forgiveness. Yes, fathers can gather all their inadequacies, mistakes and neglect and lay them down at the foot of Jesus’ cross and seek forgiveness. Jesus paid for all these by dying on the cross and rising from death.
When Jesus said that “blessed are the peacemakers” He must have known that as humans it is in the home where we begin to understand and experience peace. And it is the father and the mother who set the climate of love and security where such peace can thrive.
Fatherhood is a very high calling. God Himself chose to relate to us as a loving Father. As Father He is our protector, provider, counselor, and guide. He accompanies us through our successes and failures as mothers and fathers. He is always there with us and for us.
Our heavenly Father, thank You for making us Your children through Christ. We pray that You will look with favor upon all fathers. We lift up to You specially those who, because of circumstances, have to step up and perform the role of father – single moms, grandparents, older siblings. May we be instruments of Your peace wherever we go. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
thians 6:18 ESV)