Into The Breach – Christian Fatherhood

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

  

Day 1 — The value of children

Read: Matthew 19:13-15

Jesus elevates Christian marriage and children by teaching how important they are in God’s plan. In a culture in which children had no legal rights or social status—they were to be neither seen nor heard in public matters—Jesus tells his disciples never to prevent children from coming to him. For Jesus, children exemplify the dispositions necessary to receive God’s kingdom: simplicity, gratitude, and trust. 

In calling the children to himself, Jesus shows how fathers can bless their children—not just in silent prayer from a distance, but tangibly and audibly. Jesus places his hands on their heads and prays. Likewise, fathers should bless their children, either with the sign of the cross on their foreheads or by placing hands on their heads and reciting a prayer of blessing. In this way, the earthly father imitates the heavenly Father in dealing with children. 

Children must be able to trust their fathers completely if they are to mature with emotional health. Fathers must seek forgiveness for their inevitable mistakes and ask God to make them trustworthy in the eyes of their devoted children. Fathers share all they have with their children, but what children want and need the most is their unconditional affection and love. If children receive these gifts from their father, irrespective of any material endowment, they are blessed indeed. 

REFLECT: How can I express God’s fatherly blessings to my children? 

PRAY: Our Father in heaven, who has offered me a share in your family, give me the grace to bless my children and all to whom I am responsible with your gift of kindness, affection, and love. 

By Stephen J. Binz, Catholic biblical scholar, speaker, and author of over 50 books, including Threshold Bible Study. His graduate work in Scripture is from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and Jerusalem. The website for his work is www.Bridge-B.com.

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