This weekend, with the graduation of my son from the University of Oregon, I find myself in the position of being both an enormously proud dad and a father who faces the reality that his two children are now adults embarking on their lives. Their characters will continue to be shaped not so much by my fathering them as they will be shaped by their relationship with their Heavenly Father.
I guess what I am feeling is that sense that there is a legacy I will leave. One of my favorite music groups growing up was, The Temptations. One of their biggest hits was entitled, "My Papa was a Rollin' Stone." The refrain laments:
"My Papa was a Rollin' Stone
Years ago, James Dobson coined a phrase that has stuck with me all these years. He wrote, "Dad is Destiny." Now I know that our destiny has more to do with our relationship with The Lord, but Dobson's strong words do make the point that the influence of a father [or the lack thereof] is crucial to the development of generations.
For my entire adult life there has been an intentional, concerted effort to denigrate manhood and to portray fathers as clued out dolts who have no real role to play in the shaping of children. Maureen Dowd, a writer for the New York Times, is a radical feminist who wrote a book called, Are Men Really Necessary?
The number of households in which no dad is present has skyrocketed. In some communities, the number is well over 60 percent! The relationship between fatherlessness and criminal activity is well documented and accepted.
This morning I want us to look at the topic, "The Legacy of a Godly Father." Allow me to say at the outset, that we are all imperfect and that we all regret not being better dads, but let me also state categorically, that your legacy can begin today. Let me also start by stating that fatherhood has way more to do with manly influence than it does mere physical parentage.
So let's agree that rather than being remembered as a Rollin' Stone, we can and should be remembered as a Rock upon which generations can be built. Amen?
Copyright 2007 by Jim Jenkins. All rights reserved.