I must confess when I first saw the results of the poll regarding where kids thought there fathers would like to be, I was disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the fathers would be there, it just would have made it so much easier to conclude that the problem was absent fathers. But that makes it all the more puzzling. If the fathers wanted to be home, then where was the problem? I believe the answer is in the second poll question, where would the young people rather be. Almost the same percentage who thought their father would like to be home, apparently didn't want to be there with him. Why not? Why is there this stereotype among parents and their youth that they don't want to spend time together? Why are young people so anxious to get away from their parents? (Before I proceed any further, let me also say I have known some young people who wanted nothing more than to spend time with their parents and vice versa. Unfortunately that is the exception and not the norm.) Usually when this subject is discussed, the focus is put on the young person. We ask questions such as "What is wrong with that child?" or "Why are they so rebellious?" This shows, as seems to have occurred often in this study, that we have the cart before the horse. The first question ought to be, "What is wrong with me?" I fear we have bought into the world's mentality of blame-shifting. No one wants to take responsibility anymore. Parents, when it comes to our children, the buck stops with us. And that is a huge responsibility. One that, to be honest, if I thought I could I might try to pass it off on someone else. But I see from the Word of God there is no one else. Just recently I read an autobiography of a famous former baseball player who became wrapped up in drugs, alcohol, and immorality. It wasn't until he stopped blaming everyone else and took responsibility for his own sin that God was able to free him and get his life right. There is example after example in God's Word of the effects of men's sin on their children. One of the saddest examples of this would have to be David. So many wonderful things written by this man of God, but the saddest would have to be II Samuel 23:4-5, where he begins by recording how God blesses those who rule well, but closes by making the following statement - "Although my house be not so with God..."
Fathers, do our young people desire our company and counsel? Do they seek to be with us every chance they get? If so, praise God for it; if not, let's examine our lives to see what it is that is driving a wedge between us and our children.
Proverbs 17:6, "Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers."