The Rev. Dr. Peter A. Luckey, senior pastor, Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vermont St.:
These words of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke say it all, “Be compassionate as our Heavenly Father is compassionate.” (Luke 6:36)
When you become a dad, you put your heart out on your sleeve. You worry about your children and how you are going to pay the bills, and whether you are being too hard or soft. And for all that worry, dads can be underappreciated. Mark Twain said, “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he’d learned in seven years.”
We treasure the lessons we learn from our dads. My dad made sure that when I shook someone’s hand, I grasped it firmly and looked them in the eye. Unfortunately, others remember their fathers as being distant or absent. There are as many way of being a dad as there are dads in the world. However, the goal of all dads should be to have a heart for love.
When we are compassionate, we align ourselves with the One (God) who is always compassionate towards us. A new dad in my church discovered this truth for himself. Being a dad meant “not only changing poop-filled diapers but also opening yourself up to the marvelous and amazing love that comes from fatherhood…it is about being open yourself to the power of love.”
When we as dads are challenged it is good to be reminded of Jesus’ words. Our default position should be one of forgiveness, mercy and love. When we open our hearts in this way, we open ourselves to the God who loves us all.
— Send email to Peter Luckey at email@example.com.
Doug Heacock, contemporary worship leader and director of media and communications, Lawrence Free Methodist Church, 3001 Lawrence Ave.:
I’ve been spending some time lately re-reading the Proverbs, and it occurs to me that many of them are written in the form of instructions from a father to his children. There are so many individual instructions that there isn’t sufficient space here to enumerate them, but the overall impression one gets is that one of the most important things a father can do for his children is to help them acquire wisdom. (Read Proverbs 2, for example.)
Wisdom, according to the Proverbs, begins with appropriate reverence for God (the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom), so raising children to understand the importance of a right relationship with God would seem to be among the first priorities of both fathers and mothers. Wisdom protects a person from making foolish decisions, from making choices that lead to problems down the road. Wisdom can be difficult to acquire on one’s own—the experience and instruction of a loving parent can be enormously helpful. This is why the scripture encourages parents to speak often about God and his ways with their children as they walk together, eat together, and work together. (See Deuteronomy 6:6,7.)
One of the very best things a father can do for his children is to love their mother. In Ephesians 5, the apostle Paul directs husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church (and gave himself up for her). Marriage is intended to be an object lesson about the relationship between Jesus and the people for whom he died, and the great love that motivated his sacrifice. It is both my belief and my experience as both a son and a father that this is true.
— Send email to Doug Heacock at firstname.lastname@example.org.