How vividly I remember the saying that was going around my hometown of Verona, Mo, when I was growing up. “You better not date one of those Haddock girls! Old man Haddock has a shotgun!”
My four sisters and I hated that. We knew that many guys would not go through the grueling experience of coming inside and being questioned by my dad with his booming voice. Only the strong of heart dared. When they walked out the door with one of Ernest Haddock’s daughters, there was no doubt in their minds that they had better bring her back safe and sound!
What has happened? How many dads today would care enough about the wellbeing of their daughters to risk the disapproval of their actions?
Much has been said about how women do not “stay in their place.” True, some women do aggressively take over the duties of the dad. On the other hand, is it not true that many dads have simply abdicated their responsibilities? Many women would prefer not having to do the duties of the dad along with their own duties. They would be more than willing to step back if their husbands would simply step up.
When I do book signings, it is so common to hear a dad say, “I’ll tell my wife. She is the one who decides about these things.” This comment is in reference to my suggesting that two of my books would be helpful with family devotions. When possible, I try to suggest that it is the place of the dad to be the Spiritual leader in the home. It seems that the thought of being responsible for the Spiritual development of their children has never occurred to them.
I’m not advocating that fathers really use shotguns. I am advocating, however, that dads wake up and realize the urgency and importance of bringing up their children with a foundation of Scripture. Fathers need to have an attitude of urgency and determination in caring for their children’s safety and well-being now and in the future. The best thing to ensure well-being in the future is to build a foundation of Scripture in the children now.
Children need to memorize Scripture so they will have it in heart and mind as a basis for decision-making.
Why is it that dads will go all out to get their sons in sports, but will not make sure they have Spiritual training? Sports are fun. Sports are good for children if parents can behave themselves! Sports help in developing the physical body. What about the spiritual aspect of children. The body perishes, but the spirit lives forever. Doesn’t it make sense to be more concerned about that which lives forever than that which perishes?
Hats off to those dads who really are trying their best with the spiritual development of their children. Unfortunately, it seems they are in the minority in our present-day society. No one says it is easy to be a good dad, but dads have the greatest help of all in fathering…the Holy Spirit!