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ALTAR CALL: And a father shall lead them

Cheryl Harewood

ALTAR CALL: And a father shall lead them

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“THE MEASURE OF A?MAN can be gauged by how well he looks after his children.
“[In biblical times] the Jewish father was expected to imbue his children with the Spirit of the Law so that it became part of their walk and talk.
“The same command of Scripture goes out today; every father must assume as his special gift from God, the responsibility to develop in each of his children a fine character through proper training and instruction.
“[However], what we are witnessing in our island is a breakdown in family structure. There are far too many single-parent homes. Fathers are shirking their responsibilities.
“In fact, our men seem to be obsessed with sex. They take pleasure in seeing how many women they can impregnate and then abandon both mother and child; and a vicious cycle begins. What we are seeing today is a tragedy in our children’s lives.”
These profound statements by Brother Lisle Mapp were made during his message at Bethlehem Moravian Church, Maxwell, Christ Church, last Father’s Day.
For those in the congregation, it was by all means a special day. Little children sang and recited in honour of their dads, who were also specially recognized throughout the two-hour service. Each father, including church leader Reverend Winston Jones, was presented with a gift on behalf of the Women’s Ministry.
In his sermon, Mapp said the duty of Christian fathers was “to bring their children up in the fear of the Lord” and be the spiritual head and provider of the home.
The lay preacher lambasted those fathers who forsook their brood, leaving the mothers to fend for themselves.
He said too many men were “weaklings – afraid of their own children and afraid to lay down the law and let their sons and daughters know the rules by which they should live”.
“Not only are these fathers weak, but also lazy. They don’t have the tenacity to follow through with a child’s behavioural problems, preferring to let somebody else take over their job – whether it be a teacher, social worker or psychologist.
“As a result, we are seeing a new breed of disadvantaged children whose spineless fathers have allowed them to grow up with utter contempt for any authority,” Mapp added.
He advised that in order to see positive fruit in the lives of children, both parents must work together to train and instruct them.
Mapp cautioned also that “if fathers and mothers expect their sons and daughters to honour them and offer them respect and dutiful obedience, parents must acknowledge their responsibilities to honour and respect their children as individuals”.
He urged parents not to practise double standard and noted that “faith in God leads to a respect for the institution of the family and recognition of God’s special benediction upon fatherhood”.
• To have your church featured in Altar Call, please call Cheryl Harewood at 430-5494 or email cherylharewood