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Father’s Day Thoughts —

It’s All Daddy’s Fault

Scripture teaches us to say: “Our Father, who art in heaven,” and to confess that there is “one God and Father of all.” Some people blame Him for all the world’s troubles. They got the wrong daddy.

There is another one. He has children, and is called the father of lies. But if you state the constant claim and blame — “the devil made me do it!” — you still have the wrong daddy.

There is a third. We all have this one as our father. The Bible puts a lot of blame on him: “In Adam all die” . . . “By one man sin came into the world.” But there is still another daddy, and yet another!

Some of our churches have crucifixes, a good reminder of what Adam deserved, but an even better picture of what the second Adam got (Hymn 369:4), to bear Adam’s sin and ours. Jesus is another “daddy” in that the Scriptures describe Him as “Father” and “Author” of our salvation (Isaiah 9, Hebrews 12). He takes the blame, as though to receive into Himself the accusation: “It’s all Daddy’s fault!” Indeed, “God made Him to be sin for us.”

Every Christian ought to have a crucifix. For the sake of a fifth daddy. You know him, the head of the house, the one St. Paul refers to: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself . . . .” That kind of love means pain, the pain of blame as well as the pain of responsibility, a good pain, the best kind there is, better than any alternative.

To be married is good. A family — with father, mother, children — has many advantages over other life styles, with many earthly benefits. There is usually more income. Children are better balanced. Overall health is better, and generally with more happiness and satisfaction. For daddy particularly the family is a civilizing force, an antidote to self-centeredness, a place where responsibility cannot be denied, where deviant or socially irresponsible behavior has to be abandoned, where a good example has to be set, where you just have to be helpful, do helpful things, connect with other people, develop stable work habits, even make painful sacrifices for others.

Even the Christian home has its share of fighting, screaming, sulking silences, blaming, slamming of doors. There are heavy duties and chores. Homework, boredom. Lots of tasks, less and less time, commitment and compromise living side by side. And even then, many unhappinesses receive the condemning refrain: “It’s all daddy’s fault!” Every Christian home hears that cry.

One man recently wrote: “Without doubt, the most terrifying and fulfilling part of my life is being a father. The terror is that, somehow, I am failing my children in ways that will become clear only in retrospect. The joys defy words.”

The Christian husband and father experiences the joys and the terror. The terror due, for abdication and neglect of fatherly duty. The joy received, by love and forgiveness which comes from Word and Sacrament, and so often, through mother and children. And also the joy that comes from our heavenly Father and His Son, and the Spirit, these Three Who, through Confession and Absolution, direct daddies to bring up their children in Their nurture and admonition.

— Pastor Warren Fanning