A Father-s Influence
    June 14 2010 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

    In Luke 15, Jesus tells a story about two sons and a father. Often we focus our attention on the two sons in this story especially the one that leaves home and wastes all that he has, but eventually returns home.

    Too often, we overlook what kind of man Jesus depicts the father in this parable to be. The central truth of this story teaches us that God loves sinners. This parable also reveals some wonderful attributes about a father of great influence. It is not difficult to recognize that the central character in this story reveals that God is the perfect loving father.

    Throughout the Bible, numerous stories communicate the importance of dads and moms providing love and support for their children. The Old Testament stories of Abraham and his descendents emphasized that the blessing of the father upon his sons was a very significant act in life of Jewish families. George Sweeting, former president of Moody Bible Institute, stated that children will base their concept of God on what they see in their father. Because of this he encouraged fathers to develop the kind of relationship with their children that they wish for their children to have with God.

    Significant research has been done about the negative impact upon children who grow up in a fatherless home. The Texas Department of Corrections reported that 85 percent of all youth sitting in prisons grew up in fatherless homes. The Centers for Disease Control stated that 85 percent of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders are from fatherless homes. The Bureau of Census Information indicates that 90 percent of runaway children are from homes without a father figure present. The Criminal Justice and Behavioral publication reports that 80 percent of rapists motivated with displaced anger are from fatherless homes.

    All of this information challenges fathers to fulfill the role and responsibility that God has given to us. It is not easy to be this kind of Christian father or mother, but God does not expect us to do this alone.

    If we know Christ as our Savior, if we live in submission to the Spirit of God living within us, He will empower and enable us to be a blessing and a positive spiritual influence with our children and grandchildren.

    I was greatly blessed of God to grow up in a home where my two sisters and I, along with our younger brother who is now with the Lord, were loved and nurtured by Christian parents. They read the Bible to us and prayed with us on a daily basis.

    We each accepted Christ under the preaching of my pastor father. Although he is 84 years old, my father continues to be a godly influence in my life today. He no longer pastors a church but remains very active in pastoral ministry. He attends conferences, revivals and preaches in many churches. Last week, he visited 96 people in homes, hospitals and retirement centers. I am so thankful that, even today, he provides an influential model by which his children and grandchildren continually learn and are challenged.  
    6/14/2010 6:39:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments

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