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The Pastor's Pen

Father’s Day, a day of celebration and reflection, serves as an opportune moment to contemplate the profound significance of fatherhood within the framework of our Christian faith. As we honor the fathers and father figures gifted to us by God, it is imperative to also acknowledge the Divine attributes of Our Heavenly Father, who serves as the ultimate example of love, protection, and accountability. In exploring the parallel between God’s Fatherly attributes and the responsibilities entrusted to earthly fathers, we uncover a sacred mandate rooted in accountability- a mandate that shapes the institution of family.

     Scripture abounds with reference to the role of a loving and accountable father. In Ephesians 6:4, fathers are charged with the solemn duty to bring up their children “in the training and instruction of the Lord,” echoing the commandment for fathers to guide their children in the ways of righteousness. Similarly, Proverbs 22:6 admonishes fathers to “train up a child in the way he should go,” underscoring the pivotal role of fathers as stewards of moral and spiritual guidance with the family unit. Moreover, the parable of the prodigal son, recorded in Luke 15:11-32, offers a poignant illustration of God’s unwavering accountability as a Father. Despite the son’s waywardness and rebellion, the father’s response is characterized by compassion, forgiveness, and unconditional love- a testament to the divine model of paternal accountability that transcends human understanding.

     In light of the divine mandate delineated in scripture, earthly fathers are called to emulate the accountability exemplified by Our Heavenly Father. Just as God holds Himself accountable for the well-being and spiritual development of His children, earthly fathers are entrusted with the sacred duty to nurture, protect, and guide their offspring with steadfast integrity and unwavering commitment. The apostle Paul, in his letter to Colossians (3:21), admonishes fathers not to provoke their children, emphasizing the importance of fostering an environment characterized by love, understanding, and patience. By encouraging a climate of mutual respect and open communication, fathers can cultivate strong family bonds grounded in trust and accountability- a reflection of the divine blueprint for paternal stewardship.

     Furthermore, the concept of accountability extends beyond the confines of the nuclear family to encompass the broader community of faith. As members of the body of Christ, fathers are called to actively participate in the spiritual upbringing of not only their biological children but also their spiritual offspring within the church congregation. Through mentorship, discipleship, and leading by example, fathers can instill values of integrity, righteousness, and compassion in the next generation of believers- establishing a legacy that reverberates throughout eternity.

     As we commemorate Father’s Day and honor the fathers and father figures in our lives, let us not forget the paramount importance of accountability within the sacred institution of fatherhood. Just as Our Heavenly Father embodies love, protection, and accountability, so too are earthly fathers called to emulate His divine attributes in their stewardship of the family unit and the broader community of faith. We thank God for our fathers, the men of Bethesda, and our community who allow the Word of God to guide them in their paternal roles, striving always to reflect the image of Our Heavenly Father as accountable fathers, rooted in love and steadfast in their commitment to assist and guide the next generation according to God’s Divine will.

Much Love,
God's Peace,

Pastor Juanita A. W. Harrison

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