Good Fathers, Bad Sons
I've been scouring my Bible looking for good fathers—well, good fathers with equally good children. Instead, I found really exemplary dads with, alas, bad children.
There's the parable of the prodigal son. The father provided for everything his two children needed, but one of them demanded for his inheritance, left home, and squandered everything away. Despite all that, the good father welcomed and forgave, without question, the truant son who came crawling back.
Then there's Eli—the good priest, a holy man of God—to whom young Samuel was entrusted. Samuel turned out well, following in the footsteps of his mentor, Eli. But Eli's own two sons were worthless, wicked, dishonoring the Lord whom their father served faithfully.
Then Samuel, who served the Lord as Eli had trained him, likewise had two sons who willfully sinned before God by extorting people and perverting justice.
Why do good fathers—faithful men of God—have bad children?
Father 1: Among his five children, four became very successful, one turned to drugs.
Father 2: He had twins, raised exactly the same way, but one became a criminal and the other, a millionaire-philanthropist with a business empire.
Father 3: He worked abroad and provided adequately for his three children in their growing years; all of them grew up to be God-fearing adults who loved and cared for their father well in his old age.
Father 4: He lost his high-paying job and tried to make both ends meet by doing odd jobs; his six children worked their way through college and all became professionals with managerial positions in their places of work.
Some of these good fathers whose children go astray poignantly ask, “Where did I go wrong?” “What did I do to deserve this?”
I personally think that every father—with the help of his spouse—does his best for his sons. But perfectly decent fathers can produce ill-behaved children. And terribly abusive fathers can produce decent children.
From Dr. Richard A. Friedman, a noted psychiatrist, “For better or worse, parents have limited power to influence their children. That is why they should not be so fast to take all the blame—or credit—for everything that their children become.”
From the Bible, there is only one perfect Father. And from heaven, where He lives, God takes care of all his children with love so pure and grace so abundant that the only thing that can go wrong is us—the way we choose our lives.
Fathers of the world, enjoy your day!
If I may, below is a good father with a good son:
Photo Credit: Gianina Chong