Dear Friends -
It shouldn’t surprise us that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are separated by only a month. Just as we must honor both our Mother and Father, the role of fathers in raising their children is as important as the role of their mother.
Think about the arctic tern. Each year this amazing bird sets out on the longest migratory journey attempted by a bird. It flies from the top of the world to the bottom. Even more amazing, baby terns are hatched in the arctic north, and when they have grown old enough to take care of themselves their parents leave them and begin their migration to the antarctic south. For many weeks the fledglings fend for themselves, growing, developing the wing muscles and endurance they will need for the long flight ahead. Then they leave the only home they have ever known and begin a journey over a course they have never seen to the opposite end of the world. They have no guide and yet they arrive. God has designed these birds with an internal compass we do not understand.
I tell you that story because I want to impress upon you how very different human children are. God has not designed human babies to fend for themselves, and he has not instilled in them an instinctual compass to lead their life’s journey without a guide.
Has God mistreated human children? Not at all. God gave humans something more wonderful than the migratory instinct of the tern. He gave us parents.
As amazing as the migration of the arctic tern is, the course humans must navigate in life is more complex. It involves learning to love our neighbors and not care only for our own needs. It involves learning that right and wrong are real things, and not just the invention of individual desire, and it involves learning to choose what is right. Human navigation involves learning to forgive and to be forgiven, and then to receive the grace to change and grow into a better person. It involves learning that there is one God and Creator of us all, and that we can know him through his Son Jesus Christ.
You see, humans must navigate between two poles as distant from each other as the arctic and antarctic. We begin as sinners. By God’s grace, we can be changed into the image of Christ. And God has given us parents to instruct us on the way.
Dads, you have an amazingly important job. And it is not beyond your ability, because God wants you to succeed. Set your heart on this task: to become the compass that guides your children on the first steps of their journey in learning the love, and grace of God. You are God’s gift, even more capable than the instinct he designed into the arctic tern.
Continue in Grace,
~ Pastor Byron
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