Monday, February 1, 2010

A note to Fathers

“It is the rule, I think, that we often romanticize what we have first despised” - Wendell Berry

Mr, Berry is a philosopher / farmer with whom I would not agree on economics but who has a great deal of wisdom in land stewardship. He wrote these words with reference to farmers, but I think they apply accurately to our attitude toward children.

Children are romanticized and sentimentalized to the point that we can get teary with warm fuzzies thinking about them. We talk of how sweet, precious and cute they are. Yet the reality is they are a lot of work. Joyful work. Rewarding work. But work none the less. We need to be willing to give the time, attention, sweat and effort that this work calls for and not give it grudgingly.

“Behold children are and inheritance from the LORD” Psalm 127

An inheritance in that day was most often land, and land needs to be worked. Land left to itself turns from productive fields to thorns to brush to woods. Even as a man stewards land, so we must steward our children. We must know them, their strengths, weakness, and sins. And we must clear things out here, plant things there, put fertilizer over there, and make sure the thorns on the edge of the field are kept in check. It is work, constant work, and we get tired, but it is the work God has given us to do so let us do it with all our heart.

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