Fathers take responsibility
21 June 2016, 14:21
The beautiful story of the prodigal son that ends in a family reunion celebration is a story of the large heart of a father.
Earthly fathers are the image of the heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally and provides for our every need. We learn a lot about the beautiful gift of fathers from this story.
Below are some important nuggets I was able to glean:
1. Fathers allow sons to make mistakes. When the prodigal son wanted his share, the dad gave him with alacrity even though he knew it will never be put to good use. The best way to learn is by making a few mistakes along the way. While mothers are known to be over protective, fathers allow sons to push the envelop and in the process they learn about limits and possibilities. I remember dad bought us a ball one day but mum would restrict its use for fear that it would get lost or spoilt!
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2. Fathers love unconditionally. After the boy left home, his dad still loved him and longed for him to come back. Every evening he sat at the gate looking and yearning to see him come back. Whether maimed, addicted to drugs, broke or busted, he was his son and everything else was secondary and could be sorted out. No words could explain the joy of seeing his son return home. The father ran towards him and welcomed him with kisses and hugs.
4. Fathers take responsibility. Unlike the elder brother who felt that the prodigal son should pay for his mistakes, the dad understood that restoration was a higher ideal to work for. Leaders take responsibility for their juniors' mistakes and guide them lovingly to improve, not shaming them and causing them to walk in guilt. Jesus took responsibility for Adam's sins and paid the price for our redemption. The father in this story restored the relationship by giving the son a ring, sandals and new robe
5. Example in discretion , frugality and planning. Despite it being a dry spell in the land, the father had a fattened calf and enough supply for his household including the servants. What made the boy come to his senses was the realisation that even the servants in his father's house were being taken care of. He had learnt from home that his father honoured his servants. The good book book exhorts parents to train up their children in the way they should live and when they are old they will not depart from it. The son made up his mind to go back to his father. Let there be a reunion of sons and daughters with their fathers including the heavenly Father. There is no place like home. No one is like Dad.
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