I’ve stolen this quote from Jim Gardner’s Father’s Day sermon out at the Woodward Park Church in Fresno. It’s from a June 9 USA Today article by Oliver Thomas.
“One of the more pernicious myths in America today is that in order to be a good father, you must provide your children with a surplus of material things. For the three-fourths of us who identify ourselves as Christian or Jewish, there’s nothing biblical about this way of thinking. To the contrary, the Bible warns against an excessive devotion to material things. Fathers must compete for their children’s attention with iPods, cell phones, cable TV, and Game Boys. As a result, fathers feel tempted to sacrifice their role as dad in order to win their children’s affection.”
Yesterday in George’s class here at Legacy we talked about sharing the stories with our children, the Deuteronomy 6 principle of passing on the faith through our stories of salvation from God. We don’t tell stories anymore because we’re watching TV or surfing the web or texting on our cell phones. Good gravy, I don’t even know if we look anybody in the eye anymore, much less tell and listen to stories. We’re all glued to our personal screens, in our own little worlds, oblivious to the bigger picture of history and the universe and the linear way we’re impacted by things that happened before we arrived on the scene and how the things we do now directly bear on what happens later.
Putting two and two together is becoming increasingly more difficult as we feed on more and more bits of unrelated information in shorter and shorter bites.
It adversely affects our way of thinking, our worldview, and our relationships.
Dads, turn off the TV. Get off the computer. Take a car trip without headphones and DVD players. Tell your kids some stories. Give them a sense of what’s happened before and how it impacts them today. Give them a sense of being connected to something much bigger than themselves, something much more important than themselves. Show them how it all fits. Tell them some stories.