15 June 2008

Sermon for Fathers

Today is Father's Day. My day. Well, just another day made popular by the commercial world.

The speaker spoke from Job's experience in 1:5 whereby Job woke early and offered bunt offerings for all his kids continually. Previously he was advocating for 4 irreducible minimum roles for fathers, i.e. caregiver, educator, disciplinarian and play-mate. Today he suggested a 5th - priest. Fathers are to pray for their children and not stop at simply providing for their basic needs.

I see it as very true. In our society, fathers normally either discipline their kids or play with their kids. The other 2 roles are seldom played out, much less the 5th role, that of priesthood. When was the last time that I prayed for my girls on a regular basis? Hardly. Sadly.

I like the speaker's probing questions for the fathers. (1) What are you found doing early in the morning? Praying for your kids like Job, or preparing for your work, or sleeping?

(2) How are you preparing for the spiritual foundation of your kids? He suggested some helps:
- ask God for spiritual hunger for your kids. Pray. Pray with your wife.
- pray for wisdom from on high - most of the time we have no simple answers.
- start praying for and with them
- ask your kids to share their spiritual journey, so that you know where they are at now.

(3) Do we reflect Jesus to our kids? Or am I reflecting an obsolete and indifferent father who is there but not really there.

My problem is being a passive father. Most of the times, at nights when I'm home, I do not really get involved with what they are doing. They may be playing on the laptop beside me, but I do not know what exactly they are playing. Maybe I'm tired. Maybe, I'm just indifferent and self-centred.

I was challenged in the sermon today to make it a point to love my girls more to be involved in their lives. I see next Tuesday as an opportunity to bring them out and do something exciting for them. Yes, we are going to Arab street to look around the area and then eat by the roadside - doing crazy things together! Just like the other time where the 3 of us ate our cup noodles by the drain ;-)

Hopefully through all these, I reflect more of Christ to them. The part that really struck me today was Eli's 2 sons. Eli was a priest but yet his 2 sons were worthless fellows who do not know the Lord. What about my 2 girls? Will they be worthless women who do not know the Lord? I pray not.


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