The Epistle – September 2023

By Pastor David Shadday


 “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

 We live in a society that has lost all concept of family. Too many, in our society, not only cannot define father or mother, they can’t even define man and woman. If we ask many of our fellow citizens whether a man can be a mom or a woman can be a dad, they answer “yes.” We not only need to know better, we need to live better as parents.

 God is Father. He defines what a father is. When Christian fathers seek to know how to be an effective father, they have one place to look; God. God provides for us, body and soul. He gives us food, clothing, and all we need to supply our physical needs. He also, and with equal importance, provides for our souls. He sent Jesus to die and rise for us. He has given us His Word to teach us about the relationship of grace we have with Him. He sustains us in all our needs because of His great love for us. Fathers are called to reflect Him in their love for their children. We are not God the Father, but are called to show His love to our children, imperfect as our efforts may be. Fathers are called to be stewards of the blessings they have received to bless their children. Fathers are called to see that their children have the basic needs of life. Fathers are also called to teach their children God’s Word, applying Law and Gospel in appropriate ways to bless their children. “As Father does, let fathers do.”

  The Church is mother. She defines what a mother is. She is the means by which God gives life to God’s children through baptism and conversion, and is the means by which those children are nurtured through the ministry of Word and Sacrament. Mothers are called to reflect this by their love for their children. They are the means by which children are born, sealing a bond that is unlike anything we experience as people. Their love for their children calls them to the nurture and care that fathers admire, but cannot replicate. They work with fathers to provide for daily needs of body and soul, contributing the unique gifts each bring. “As Church nurtures, let mothers too.”

  What a wondrous calling we have received. It is a great challenge, but is lived out by the grace given us by God. Parents have the privilege of using Law and Gospel to create an environment in which their children can grow. Give them the food, body and soul.