A Father’s Influence

One time, a Jewish boy was confused when his family started attending a Lutheran church in Germany. He asked his father, “Why are we giving up our Jewish faith?” His father’s reply shocked him: “If we want people to frequent our business, we must abandon our faith!” He never got over his disappointment. His faith in God crumbled.

When he grew up, he wrote a book that became a scourge of the world. One third of the world swallowed his philosophy. For 70 years, billions suffered because of this ideology.
Such was the tragic result of a father’s hypocrisy.

The book was “The Communist Manifesto.” The boy was Karl Marx.
[1]

The Bible instructs us: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4, New Int’l Version) Ever wondered why God focused on the fathers? One study showed that if both parents regularly go to church with their kids, there’s an 80% chance that those kids will worship God on a regular basis when they become adults. But if only the mother does so, the probability goes down to only 30%. Yet, if only the father does so, it will go up to 70%! Just imagine, a father is almost as influential as both parents combined. I like how The Message translated that verse: “Take them [your children] by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.” Someone wrote, “Fathers, one of your most important ministries is worshipping with your kids!”

That doesn’t mean of course that the mother is insignificant. Two parents are still better than one. But what I am driving at is that fathers should realize the potent force they have in the lives of their children. According to another study, “More than any other factor, a father’s presence in the family determines a child’s success and happiness. Dad is destiny.” Such is our power as fathers!

Fathers, let us live up to our calling as fathers.

[1]Adapted from the illustration database of the Biblical Studies Foundation (http://www.bible.org/).

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