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The father's responsibility

The story of Abraham and Isaac is one of the most beautiful in the Bible of a father-son relationship. Isaac was born in answer to the prayer of a father’s heart. Long years, Abraham had waited on God, believing that He would keep that promise. Then, when Isaac came, there grew up between father and son a most perfect understanding and relationship.

The necessity of providing for his household takes the father away from home and family. But that doesn’t mean a father’s heart is not in the home while he is out in the battle of life, in the struggle to support his family. There isn’t a true father who wouldn’t take the shirt off his back for his child and make any other sacrifice.

The father is an example to his children. The Scripture says, “Enoch walked with God … 300 years.” (Genesis 5:22) Most people fail to see something in that Scripture, that the day his first son was born, Enoch became a different man.

He thought of life differently. Everything was more serious. That day, father Enoch made a dedication of himself to God and began to walk with God.

Father, if you haven’t done that, you have deprived your child of the greatest thing you could give him, a real Christian father.

I read the story once of an unsaved lawyer who told when the turning point came in his life. One morning, he started out to his office. He had to cross the street to catch the streetcar. The snow was deep, and he was taking long steps to avoid stepping in the snow more than necessary.

When he looked back, he saw his 3-year-old boy trying his best to step in his father’s tracks in the snow. “Son, what are you trying to do?” he asked.

“Just stepping in Daddy’s tracks,” was his answer.

The father said he realized then that his boy was not only stepping in his tracks in the snow but was literally following his ways.

Every boy or girl makes a hero out of his father. God, give us men who are willing to lead the way to God.

On this Father’s Day, fathers are an essential ingredient to the family. I cannot stress enough how important the father’s role is in the family. We have sadly seen the mold of the family literally break before our eyes and the resulting devastation that it has caused, but the good news is there is always hope in Jesus Christ!

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers …” (Malachi 4:6)

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Greg Odell is a retired pastor from Alexandria.