Category Archives: family

Tribute to my Father

Fathers play an immensely important role in the family and in the rearing of children. Fathers are responsible for bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Sadly, our society is reaping the fruit of fatherless families or families where the father doesn’t care. Fathers are worthy of honor (Ex. 20:12). Some of us have great fathers, others not so great. I want to honor my great father with this simple poem I’ve written.

I need you now more than ever, Dad,
When things all around me start going bad.
I need your advice and your guidance, too,
When I alone can’t figure out just what to do.

I need to hear you say, “How are you, son.”
When I have fought some battle but haven’t won.
I need to hear you say, “It’ll be alright.”
When I have failed some how and feel uptight.

I need to hear you sing when you greet the day,
Your voice reassures and drives my fears away.
I need to hear you laugh and see you smile,
When I have been feeling down and sad awhile.

I need you now Dad and I’m thankful, too,
For all the little things you say and do.
I need you to teach me all I haven’t learned,
When I have been lazy and unconcerned.

I need you now Dad and I always will,
And I hope you know just how I feel.
I need you to know what you mean to me,
A greater father there could never be.

I need you now Dad as I always do,
To help me get along and see me through.
I need you and in my heart you’ll always be,
Because you are so precious and so dear to me.
Copyright 2015 Eric L. Padgett

There Arose Another Generation

“And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which He had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10).

Between January 8 through February 5, 2014, the Barna Group conducted a telephone and online State of the Bible Survey of 2,034 adults in the continental United States regarding the views of Americans on such subjects as perceptions of the Bible, Bible penetration, Bible engagement, Bible literacy, moral decline and social impact and giving to nonprofit organizations. This study was commissioned by the American Bible Society. There was some encouraging news as well as some discouraging news coming from this study.

The one consolation is that the Bible is still highly regarded in America. “When asked to name the books that come to mind when they consider sacred literature or holy books, Americans overwhelmingly name the Bible (79%). This proportion is more than seven times the popularity of the next most frequently mentioned holy book, the Koran (12%).” However, over the last four years, 7% fewer Americans have regarded the Bible as sacred and 4% more Americans regarded the Koran as sacred.

What the study reveals, however, is that those who are identified as “Millennials” (those who are aged 18-29 according to this study) are the ones who are driving this decline in respect for the Bible. While 50% of all Americans believe the Bible has too little influence on society, only 30% of Millennials hold this view. Only 16% of all Americans believe the Bible has too much influence. Furthermore, while 88% of American households own a Bible, this number is down from 92% in 1993. While the number of Bibles owned per household is 4.7–and this is up slightly from 4 years ago–only 15% say they read the Bible daily. Fifty-three percent read the Bible only 3 to 4 times a year. Again, only 40% of Millennials read the Bible while 66% of those who are 68 years and older read the Bible.

Another disturbing trend is that the readership of the venerated King James Version has decreased from 45% in 2011 to 34% in 2014. But the good news is the Kings James Version is still the preferred Bible translation in America. “Far fewer say they prefer the New International Version (13%) or the New King James Version (10%). The English Standard version is read by 6% of Bible readers, while the New Living Translation is read by 4%. All other translations were mentioned by 3% or fewer Bible readers.” But, again, it is the Millennials who prefer the Kings James Version less than other age groups.

According to another study by Pew Research, 68% of Millennials support “same-sex marriage.” “Millennials are easily the most godless generation of Americans, with 29 percent saying they are not affiliated with any religion and 11 percent saying they do not believe in any god at all, as compared to Gen Xers who are 6 percent atheist. As faith goes, only 58 percent of Millennials are sure of their beliefs, compared to 69 pecent of Gen Xers.” (“Millenials Most Godless and Politically Independent  Generation“)

What these studies reveal is that it is imperative that we start working on instilling a different attitude toward the word of God in our young people. One generation is all it takes for complete apostasy to occur. The only way to account for the current decline in the younger generation is that, unfortunately, parents are no longer rearing their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Parents are no longer teaching diligently unto their children the words that the Lord has spoken (Deut. 6:5,6). Neither are congregations preaching the word of God and emphasizing doctrinal soundness from the pulpit or the Bible classes but are instead teaching a “be happy, don’t worry” philosophy. Press too much doctrine and you are accused of being divisive.

I am sorry to say this, but I believe the church of the Lord in America is in bad shape. (America, itself, is in bad shape and no one can seem to stop the decline.) The traditional, biblical answers to traditional criticisms of the Word of God have been forgotten or, even worse, discarded by many. Whereas the Lord’s church used to be the place to go for Bible answers, too few today in the Lord’s church know the Bible well enough to provide those answers.

We must renew our commitment to studying and preaching and living the Word of God. We must teach them diligently to our own children with a renewed sense of urgency lest they forget the works He has done for Israel.

Eric L. Padgett

A Good Father

“The greatest gift I ever had came from God, I call him Dad”

good-father

The Bible teaches that several factors go into making a good father.

First, a good father Forges the character of his children. Prov. 22:6 states that if we train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it. The idea is to dedicate the child to the Lord, just as the temple was dedicated to the Lord (I Kings 8:63; II Chron. 7:5). The only way for this to be accomplished is for the father, himself, to be dedicated to the Lord. A father once told me, near tears, that he could not understand why his child was unfaithful because he, the father, did not drink, swear, hurt anyone, etc. But it takes so much more than merely not doing things as a parent. A good father will bring his children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:1-3). A good father forges, molds, and shapes the character of his children.

Second, a good father Administers proper discipline. One of the hardest things for a parent to do is to discipline a child. The old saying, “This hurts me more than it does you” may seem trite or quaint but it is literally true for a good parent. A father who loves his children does everything in his power to keep his children from harm and so it may seem counter-intuitive to discipline them, but this is sometimes necessary. The Bible teaches that the rod of correction will harm them much less than some evil way they might live (Prov. 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13,14). Eli failed this test as a father because he chose not to restrain his children even though they had made themselves vile (I Sam. 3:13). Because of this, God said he was going to perform a thing upon Eli’s house which would cause the ears of those who heard it to tingle (I Sam. 3:11-14).

Third, a good father Teaches his children about God. The children of Israel were to teach God’s word “diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates” (Deut. 6:7-9). Every waking moment was to be spent in teaching their children about God’s will. They were to make every word a lesson and every deed an illustration. Their faith was not to be superficial, not intermittent, not only when it was convenient. It was to be real, consistent and tangible. When fathers do not live this way, apostasy is only a generation away (Jud. 2:10).

Fourth, a good father Hearkens unto his child’s needs. Sometime parents do not listen to their children’s cries or do not know how to recognize them. Many children have done something reckless and even deadly because the parents could not recognize a desperate cry for help. Jesus said even an evil father knows how to give good things to a child that requests it (Matt. 7:9-11). Many times fathers project onto their sons what they wanted for themselves, maybe forcing them into a life they would not choose. This is sad when it happens and only alienates father and son later in life. But a good father will listen to his children, not just giving them anything they want, but listen to understand what they truly need. A man who does not provide for his house is worse than an infidel (I Tim. 5:8).

Fifth, a good father Entreats God in prayer on behalf of his children. The Bible says Job went to God often for his children. “It was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually” (Job 1:5). How powerful it is when a family prayers to God together! How powerful it is for children to see their father on his knees in prayer to God, with tears, for their spiritual and physical welfare. The old saying is true: The family that prays together stays together.

Finally, a good father Rejoices in his children. A good father recognizes that children are a gift from God (Psalm 127). To be responsible for the souls and lives of such precious little children, to see them grow into adulthood, to see them reflect all the love and attention given them through the years is a blessing, indeed. A father who does not care, who is not concerned about the fruit of his loins, who has no emotional connection with his children is a worse than a travesty. In our culture, when marriage is profaned and on the decline, when men father many children by many different women, when homosexuality is being promoted as normal, it is no wonder that children are left without fathers. But a man of true character will rejoice in his children.

I am so thankful for may own Dad who has taught me so much about life and who has given me so much of himself. He is my hero, my guide, my friend, my Dad.

Eric L. Padgett