“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.
“Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
“Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
“For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.” – Psalm 1
This coming Sunday, people around the world will celebrate Father’s Day. Like Mother’s Day, this is a special day set aside to celebrate our fathers.
What are the signs of a father? The text tells us how to live and what a father should teach his children. It tells us about the measure of an individual.
The God-fearing person or father delights in the law of the Lord. He meditates on the Lord’s word day and night.
The good and godly man cleaves to that which is good. The word of God is his benchmark or guide. Because he is guided by the word of the Lord, he keeps out of the way of the ungodly.
A father should be a good example for his children. He is active in the life of his children from infancy to the age of maturity and beyond.
The godly father is a nation builder. He is such, because through the way he trains his children, he builds the nation.
The nation builder is a responsible person. He loves his country – and because he does, he trains and rears his children to be good and responsible citizens.
He is like a beacon to both the community and the nation. He lives a good life not only for his children but for the whole community.
When I was growing up in Abaco, the other fathers in my community were like surrogate fathers to my peers and me. Like our fathers, they, too, nurtured us. They were like guiding lights to us.
Through the way a father trains his children, they, too, become guiding lights and nation builders. His children emulate his life, which becomes an example for training their children.
Through the training the godly father imparts to his children, he lives on through his children. They perpetuate his training in passing on his training to their children, his grandchildren.
The good father “… is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. He is blessed through his children who carry on his tradition as a responsible parent and a nation builder”.
As we celebrate this Father’s Day, I pray that more of our absent and delinquent fathers undertake to become more involved in the life of their children. It is never too late to do so.
Men of our country, particularly those of you who are fathers, live according to the words of the Psalm and be an example to your children. Our country needs you more today than any other time in our history. Step forward and be counted among the fathers who live up to their parental responsibilities.
Do not just be a biological contributor to your children. You are more than that and you can demonstrate it through your action as a community and nation builder. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org