Friday, October 19, 2007

When Words Are Vain

Today I was reading an article by John Piper that was dedicated to the topic of how a father's love influences a child; the example he uses throughout is the relationship John G. Patton had with his father. In short, the effect of a father's love, especially on a son, is immeasurable.

John Patton wrote in his autobiography:
How much my father's prayers at this time impressed me, I can never explain, nor can any stranger ever understand. When, on his knees and all of us gathered around him in Family Worship, he poured out his whole soul with tears for the conversion of the Heathen world to the service of Jesus, and for every personal and domestic need, we all felt as if in the presence of the living savior, and learned to know and to love Him as our Divine friend.

When reading this how can my first thought not be about the weight of fatherhood? My son or daughter will know and understand the world through his or her interaction with me and the things I teach them,! Never has desiring to honor God and live a life I would expect of my children been so real.

The good news here is that my child hasn't been effected yet. The good news is that I have this opportunity. The good news is that I get to be a father. We are now about 15 weeks into the pregnancy and I have never been more excited because I will have the opportunity to shape a child's life like only a father can.

Paton later wrote in his autobiography about when he finally left home to go to Divinity school in Glasgow. It was a 40 mile walk to the train station and his father walked the first 6 with him. Paton wrote about that experience:
My dear father walked with me the first six miles of the way. His counsel and tears and heavenly conversation on the parting journey are are fresh in my mind as if it had been yesterday... For the last half mile or so we walked in almost unbroken silence - his lips kept moving in silent prayers for me; and his tears fell fast when our eyes met each other in looks for which all speech was vain!

Paton knew what his father was doing and why. That day was unforgettable to him because he was parting from the biggest influence of his life. Words we vain because they failed to communicate the understanding each had with the other, they failed to communicate the depth of the love they had. Thats what fatherhood is about, loving and influencing your child for the true honor and glory of God. How awesome.

No comments: