The love of fathers
The love of fathers for their children is undeniably one of the most powerful kinds of love there is. So powerful that it moves fathers to sacrifice everything that they have just to make sure that their children are received the best that they could possibly have. For Christian fathers, “the best thing” is defined not by the material blessing in this world but is determined by God’s truth.
To inspire you on Father’s Day, we asked fathers Khai, an engineer and a father of 3 children, and Alpha, a senior lecturer at Monash and a father of 2 kids about their sacrifices for their sons and daughters; be ready to be lost for words for the things these fathers have done!
The choice Irene (my wife) and I have made to have all our children homeschooled is perhaps one of the biggest and best decisions we made. It is one that comes with great sacrifices. I have to be committed to teaching them science and math subjects through the years. Every month, I have to allocate a science class for both of my children, Kaylee and Solomon, and their friends to facilitate learning. This hasn’t been easy for me especially during the times when work stress piles up.
My wife and I intentionally chose a syllabus that is biblical and encourages critical thinking. When I am teaching science subjects, I make sure they are extremely clear in their understanding that they see God the Creator through his creations is made extremely clear. For example, the problem with evolution theory, the issue with carbon dating, the evidence of catastrophic worldwide flood, the marvel of atoms, the overwhelming evidence of intelligent design and more.
I also make sure that the Gospel, along with the sovereignty of God is communicated clearly but not forcefully to my children lest they may be manipulated into thinking they too are automatically believers of Christ under my authority.
I set the example of taking the study of Scripture seriously and avoid taking its meaning out of context as much as possible. When the Scripture has convinced me of my wrong understanding of truth, I make sure I communicate that to my children so that they too may learn to bind their conscience by the Word of God alone and be willing to change under its authority.
In an attempt to shape their worldview, I confess to them that I am a weak and unworthy sinner who only stands under the mercy of the Creator. I never portray that I am strong and steady, but instead, I show them that we are but a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. I frequently remind them that pride in our academic performance and gifting are detestable in the eyes of the Gift-Giver, who can give and take away.
Perhaps, as a father of the children whom God has given, the biggest concern of all is their salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the Father who chooses, not a father who makes. In one sense, I feel that my job is done when they believe in Christ – then I commit them to the continuous good work the Spirit of God will do in them. Then I know our relationship will not just end here on earth. Until that day, our father-son, and father-daughter relationships will be cherished greatly, at the edge of the mercy of God.
I try and get my 4-year-old daughter involved whenever I plan or do something at home, knowing she will be asking her ever famous “WHY?”. It can be quite annoying at times having to answer so many “WHYs” in a single breath, but I always try to remind myself that it is my responsibility (and Esther’s) to mould her thought framework. So, I try to consciously set things up so we can talk about how and why we ought to glorify God in the way we use our resources.
Our chats are not confined to a particular place or time. It can take place over a meal or even when she cycles in the park. We chat about different aspects – among those which she often asks are why both Esther and I make time to attend our GG (Growth Group), how she can help facilitate the process by not disrupting us during GG, why she needs to learn how to read and write, why Esther and I need to work – instead of just spending time playing with her, why we don’t just buy every toy she encounters without a plan, why this, why that and many more whys.
In all our answers, we try to get her to think about who is being at the center of things – do we put ourselves in the center or is God in the center? Admittedly, we as parents do fail (very often), so we also talk about how we are truly unable to please God just by works because of our sinful nature – and would need His TER-BEST-EST solution, His Son and King.
As a father, I’ve come to see that we must never underestimate how much theology our kids can digest – even though they may be staring blankly at you. These conversations are also a great source of rebuke for me because it searches my heart and life for hypocrisy/inconsistencies.
Thank you, Khai and Alpha for teaching us and modelling to us what it means to be a godly father, that fathers are not just the ones who are carrying the heavier burden as the head in planning but also the one who is delicate in thought in planning for their children. We pray that you will continue to grow in wisdom and love for the gospel so that your children who are under your care and authority will grow up to honour and worship Jesus as Lord just as you both do.
Thank you to all fathers in Malaysia for all your sacrifices! CERC wishes you a happy Father’s Day!
Posted on 17th June 2019