Being a Father

Don Willis
Wichita Falls, Texas

The superlative degree of happiness is realized in being a father. Webster says a father is "one who has begotten a child." And to say this child is "mine" is the depth of happiness. Children are a blessing to their parents in ways too numerous to mention. The kindness, loveliness, friendliness, understanding and affection of a child cannot be put on a piece of paper.

Granted, being a father places tremendous responsibility upon me . . . but I graciously accept all such with honor. I have duties to feed, clothe, house, educate, train, etc. But this is where my individual character is so much shaped and trained! I will continue to live, for my children and their posterity will live. Glory be to God!

I fully accept the spiritual challenge that is afforded me in my children. The Lord tells me, "Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). To the best of my limited ability, this I will do. I accept the obligation of teaching, encouraging and assisting them in every way. I want my children to be in the best moral association, to read the best code of morals. I will encourage my children to always love the Lord, to attend all the services, to participate in all services . . . for these are genuine values. I want them to devote their lives to God's service, thus I must devote my life to God's service. My traits will be theirs. If I study the Bible, so will they; if I attend worship, so will they; if I love my fellowman, so will they; if I trust in God, so will they; if I am negligent, so are they; if I miss services, so will they; etc., ad infinitum.

"The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice" (Prov. 23:24-25). Too, "a wise son maketh a glad father" (Prov. 10: 1), both to his father and later as a father "but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother."

Children, no one loves you like your parents. Therefore respect and obey them. God is pleased!

May 1967