The importance of the Christian father and grandfather in the family cannot be overemphasised. Here, I will focus on three thoughts.
The first is: once a father, always a father. When you first cast your eyes on your new-born son (and I use the term “son” to include daughters too), I am sure you felt a deep realisation that you would always be his father. There is no way you can “un-father” yourself. Even if things go wildly wrong and you disown him, it is only a legal position. Your biological position cannot be changed from the moment your child is born. Even when he is in his senior years, he will still call you “Dad”, for this is our Asian practice. You will always want to provide and protect this baby even until his hair turns grey, and will be his everlasting father. This must remain your solemn responsibility.
Secondly, when your son is passing through his teenage years, the Christian father must take on the role of a counsellor first, and a disciplinarian only second, if ever. When he gets into trouble, you must never stand by and say, “There! I told you so!” Walk with him as he faces his problems. More than just offer advice, you must be his helper with all the resources that are available to you. More than a counsellor, you must be a wonderful counsellor, his best friend!
Thirdly, when your son becomes a father himself, you must be the peacemaker of the extended family. When quarrels erupt between the young parents, between parents and in-laws, between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law or son-in-law, or between in-laws themselves, you the Christian grandfather must be the prince of peace. Never must you take sides when quarrels are on matters of preference, prejudice, personality or wrong choice of words.
You might have noticed that I have taken the liberty to use three familiar functional terms: everlasting father, wonderful counsellor and prince of peace. These descriptions come from Isaiah 9:6—“And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” when Isaiah prophesied about the Christ Child who was to be born. The Christian father is to follow the model shown to us by our Heavenly Father.
John Wu, Peter Tan and Tan Gee Paw will be sharing about their fatherhood journey at “Passing on a Godly Legacy”, the inaugural One MCS webinar.
17 Oct 2020 (Saturday), 9 to 11 a.m.
www.methodist.org.sg/MethodistFathers (for more information)
https://tinyurl.com/MethodistFathers (to sign up)
9171-4984 (David Ang, Event Chairman, CAC Board of Family Life Chairman)
Tan Gee Paw is a member of Barker Road Methodist Church. He was saved by grace through a remarkable encounter one night when he was alone as a teenager. / Photo courtesy of Tan Gee Paw