I feel blessed to be asked to write a reflections message on this special day. For so many, this is a great day, yet for others, such an awkward day.
Our culture has done a pretty fine job of attacking and tossing out the true Bible's call to fathers. According to God, in his Word, "Fathers are to train up their children in the Lord" Ephesians 6:4.
Why is this message so hard for dads? After all, it is one of the simplest things we can do as fathers for our children (and grandfathers for our grandchildren).
Rev. Jeff Hoverson
I believe it is a spiritual battle. While the diminishing of moms affects the immediate well being of children, it is the long-term effects that come into play when the role of the father is denied, diminished or even demolished.
Just the other day, my wife and I met and conversed with woman at a checkout in town. Through our short discussion we discovered that she was an avowed atheist. She was sweet and nice and good at her job. Yet, as she shared her story, we found out that she was raised by a mother who believed in Christ, but a father who did not. She was, herself, a Christian until she left home and was introduced to atheist philosophies. It did not take us long to connect the dots between the lack of the father having a spiritual role in her life and her "later in life" disconnect with Christ and God all together.
How common is this now? More than you might want to know. The statistics for men and women in their 20s and 30s is staggeringly disappointing. Many are not only stopping their attendance in a church, but are also jettisoning their faith. How disturbing is that? It depends on how important you and I believe faith in Christ is? Can we assume what our parents assumed about God and church? NO. We cannot assume that if we bring our kids to church, drop them off at Sunday school and youth group to let someone else train them up in the Lord, that they will remain as believers in Christ.
Reflections, a mini-sermon written by Minot and area clergy, will appear each Saturday in The Minot Daily News. Clergy interested in writing a mini-sermon should contact Religion Editor Loretta Johnson at 857-1952 or Debbie Sandvold at 857-1950. The toll-free number is 1-800-735-3229.
This is not the case anymore. Which brings us back to fathers. Dads, God is very clear about you and the impact you have on your kids. If we choose to ignore this, our churches as well as our culture will continue to slide into more and more godlessness which affects everything from homes to workplaces, from business and politics to the economy and every other social establishment we have. Does it all come down to you, dad? YES, it does. Please, join me on your knees before God. Let us repent. Let us say, "Not under my watch." Perhaps you have neglected this. You may not have realized the full impact on our homes and culture. You, perhaps, did not know how significant of a role you play in this. Well, now you know. God forgives. God understands. God will help you. He has before he will again. Let's listen to him and tell God our Father "Happy Father's Day, Dad" by changing our lives.
The Rev. Jeff Hoverson is pastor of Living Word Lutheran Church, 710-46th Ave. NE, Minot.