Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Heritage

Although my Christian heritage is rich, I understand that many others may not have been blessed with Christian parents. It certainly isn't your fault if that is the case. After all, we don't choose our parents, just like we don't choose our children. But as parents we can make better choices for our children to grow up with the right influences. In a spiritual sense I am rich because my children have risen up and blessed me. Allow me to brag a little; I trust I will be able to bring it all home:

My great-grandfather came from Sweden to Minnesota, where he was saved. His youngest of seven kids didn't find salvation until in his 30's, I believe. And he raised my father in a similar way. But while in the US Navy during WWII, my dad also repented of his sins. He didn't want his kids waiting until adulthood to get saved, and chance losing them forever. He prayed and disciplined us (please understand that doesn't only mean corporal punishment, discipline comes from the same root that disciple comes from.) So we have become disciples of Jesus, or Christ-followers, because the mercy of God, and the loving diligence of a godly father. I am not purposely slighting the influence of mothers and grandmothers, but this is a Father's Day tribute, after all.

Although I have had an easier path than others because of those who went before me, it is incumbent upon us all as fathers and mothers to raise up a godly generation to come after us, to never give up when it seems as if our kids will never amount to anything, and to pray long and consistently for our kids' salvation as if it depends on us even though our theology teaches us that it all depends on God.

I have spoken to some men who told me I am in a small select group, because they believe most fathers are as theirs were, men who had either physically or emotionally abused them, and now they have trouble getting around the past and fathering their children in the way of the Lord. Since I have never been there, I have difficulty empathizing, but one thing is certain: you must break the generational cycle. If you don't, there is a much greater chance that you will allow it to continue. You know what the possible consequences are, so don't let it happen!

One final point, and that is that God is our Father. He is not a woman, as the author of The Shack would have us believe. He is the most loving, caring Dad one could ever know. If we need pointers on being a better dad, we couldn't find a more perfect example. I want to let everyone know that I believe I had a great dad, but I know that I also have the greatest Dad possible, my heavenly Father. I love you, Dad!