Concerning fathers Solomon says,
Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of sons is their fathers.
- Proverbs 17:6
There was a special celebration of belonging to and coming forth from a man you could call your father in Solomon's day. Fathers took pride in children but the writer emphasizes that children also gloried in who their father was.
If a child's glory was his father, then a child without a father was missing his innate, inherent glory. This phenomenon can be seen today as so many boys and girls struggle with issue of identity and self-worth because they are denied the glory of their fathers through death or abandonment.
Without ownership of basic fatherly glory one seeks to create an image of glory from other sources and consequently becomes vulnerable to the false glory offered by the make-believe men and women of advertisers and Hollywood. Children with guns, children with drugs and alcohol, young people with cynical attitudes and a desire only for the pleasures of things are simply reflecting the false glory they have adopted because there is precious little fatherly glory in their lives.
Children need the glory of their fathers in order to learn their own sense of worth. Fathers need to pass on their glory so their sons and daughters can know not only who they are but that who they are is a glorious thing.
- Which of your parents were you closest to? Why?
- As a child what were the two things you, personally, needed the most from your parent(s)?
- As a parent what are you trying to teach your children about being a parent? Do they "get it"?
- What unique role do you believe fathers play in the lives of their children? How did your own father succeed in this?
- What can mothers do to help their sons become good fathers some day?