In today’s first reading, St. Paul addresses dads. Any time I tackle this topic it is fraught with peril, mainly because so many households now are single parent households where the mom is raising the kids by herself. Actually, that’s why today’s reflection is so important.
Here is St. Paul’s advice to dads: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.” There are so many complex causes to the many problems in society today, so what I’m about to say may seem a gross oversimplification. So be it.
I believe that absentee fathers are one of the greatest causes of so many societal ills today. For instance, prisons are jammed with men who didn’t know their father or had no father figure in their lives. Thus these men are much more likely to be absentee fathers as well. It is a vicious, self perpetuating cycle. This example underscores the importance of St. Paul’s words today. Men, we can do better. We must man up and do right by our wives, our children and, most importantly, our God. Let’s train up our kids in the ways of the Lord. There's no guarantee they will follow in those ways, but let's at least give them a fighting chance in this relativistic world.
Father, bless fathers with your wisdom, patience, fortitude and humility. May all fathers be the godly men you are calling them to be. Amen.
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