Sunday, August 23, 2009

Faithful Fathers

Yesterday we took our youngest son to college at the University of Texas at Austin. It is quite an operation to receive all the new freshmen and to deposit them and all their stuff in their dorm rooms. I was quite impressed with how well the dorm staff had organized the activity. After checking in you were given a number and waited pleasantly in the cafeteria before it was your time to drive up to the curb to unload all your stuff. Students and staff members helped unload everything, put it on carts and haul it to the student’s assigned room. While everyone waited their turn the cafeteria staff even served complimentary drinks and snacks. I had plenty of time to look around at the other families who were bringing their children to college. One surprising observation struck me. I saw students of every hue and description, but each one was accompanied by an intact family: father and mother, and in many cases siblings as well.

If you are familiar with colleges in Texas, you will no doubt realize that the University of Texas at Austin is the highest ranked and most selective public university in the state. It is no mean feat to be admitted to UT Austin. Around us yesterday were some of the best students in Texas. Knowing the statistics for single-parent households, it was no surprise to see each student accompanied by his or her mother. But I was amazed and gratified to see, in every case, the father there as well.

This can be no accident, I’m sure. All the statistics also point out that an involved father is one of the most important contributors to successful and well adjusted children. Now I’m sure that some of the families I saw yesterday were blended families. But in every one there was still a man who was willing to step up and be a father to the children in his home – whether they were his flesh and blood or not.

We often hear the phrase “faithful husband” but it is just as important to be a faithful father as well. When will the men in our society wake up? When will they accept their God-given responsibility? How long must the social devastation of their selfishness continue? I am proud to be a faithful father to my two sons. If God gives them families of their own I hope they continue that legacy. I pray that they will.

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