The Joy of Fatherhood
For some reason the most musical sound to my ears is to hear my children, especially my daughters, call me “Daddy.” It saddens me that many in this life, through no fault of their own, are orphaned by the death of their parents and have no one to call “Daddy.”
What seems even more unbearable, though, is the number of men who willingly run out on their children. A new column in The New York Times went so far as to praise and defend these “deadbeat dads.” In a piece called “Is Forced Fatherhood Fair?” columnist Laurie Shrage said this::
“If a man accidentally conceives a child with a woman, and does not want to raise the child with her, what are his choices? Surprisingly, he has few options in the United States. He can urge her to seek an abortion, but ultimately that decision is hers to make. Should she decide to continue the pregnancy and raise the child, and should she or our government attempt to establish him as the legal father, he can be stuck with years of child support payments. Do men now have less reproductive autonomy than women?”
What a telling statement of how far we in America have fallen, that the pro-choice movement has led to its logical end; namely embracing barrenhood and sex without consequences.
Christ calls us to something more. These deadbeat dads are truly scoundrels and should have the full force of the law and social pressure causing them to own up to their actions. Yet what we are asking them to do, namely be responsible for their offspring, is not only for the child’s good but their own.
After all, fatherhood is a joyful station that gives deep meaning to life. Aside from becoming a Christian, nothing has blessed me more than to be a husband and father. Yet it is not merely the joy of hugs from my children and cards on Fathers’ Day that give fatherhood purpose. Without fathers, the very chain of life reaches a dead end.
A moment ago I said that I feel sorry for those who have no one to call “Father.” That is not really true. Because of Christ’s death on the cross, we can be reconciled to our Maker, our Heavenly Father (John 3:16). Like Jesus Himself taught us, we always have Him to call “Father,” even “Daddy” (Mark 14:36).
So this Fathers Day, take a moment to pray to the Lord, that He Himself would (continue to) show you His presence and love. In the end, that alone is what will make everything else in life fall in line, even the most deadbeat of dads.
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