God is my Director

Youth ministry, movies, no drugs and a variable amount of Rock ‘n Roll

Archive for December 18th, 2006

Luke, I am your father…

Posted by Martin on December 18, 2006

A great fear has seized me. I think it grabs hold of every relatively new parent at some stage, and it may be a phenomena which particularly affects fathers.
I’m worried about what father I’m going to be, and how that might affect the sort of man my son grows up to be. I’m worried specifically, that something I might do wrong now and in the formative years to come might radically send him off course. I mean for instance, what kind of folks were Mr and Mrs Hitler snr? Do you think they pushed their son towards fascist dictatorship as a decent career ambition? What were the Husseins like around baby Saddam? For all we know, they could have been a pair of charmers and the toast of the Baghdad dinner-dance scene in the 1940s, yet their son didn’t turn out too well.
Here’s what sparked me off: I was reading the Old Testament book of 2 Kings, and I came across a series of stories involving King David – widely regarded as one of the great men in Jewish history. I don’t know how hands on he was as a parent, but the fact is that some of his kids didn’t turn out all that well. First, Amnon, his son, was so consumed with lust for his own sister – Tamar – that he raped her, and she ended up living destitute and broken in a tower somewhere. And then there’s the small matter of Absolom, another son, who first hunted down and killed his brother Amnon for the attack on Tamar, and then went on to try to grab his father’s throne and power. Great kids!
Now David is a bit of a role model of mine. He’s not only a great leader and a truly Godly man; he’s also a creative, and a prolific writer. So if HIS kids can turn out like that, what hope have the rest of us got?

I’m only speculating, but I suppose with all his other kingly duties, David didn’t have time to be a hands-on father. He was a great role model for his kids, but perhaps they didn’t see enough of him day-to-day for that to rub off on them. If there’s a grain of hope for us then, it’s also a lesson – spend time with your kids, and let them see a good model of adulthood in the way you live your life around them. Even if I’ve got David wrong, it’s still a pretty good principle for fatherhood.

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