Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's in Fiction and Film

In honor of our fathers and the fathers of our children, I thought I'd repeat here a small portion of the sermon my pastor gave this morning at church. He went through the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6 from a different perspective...as an example for earthly fathers from the Heavenly Father.

Fathers are first and foremost to PRIORITIZE...the Lord first, above everything else.

" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven."

This is not only to show children what's to be the most important consideration in life, but it is also to color everything else.

Second, fathers are to PROVIDE.

11 "Give us today our daily bread."

Fathers are given the responsibility by God to provide for their families. This does not mean providing only sustenance and stuff, but also to provide their presence. All the stuff in the world won't make up for being absent.

Third, fathers are to PARDON.

12 "Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors."

Knowing the grace of forgiveness and pardon doesn't mean to avoid punishment. But it means that after the punishment, the father shows the child that there is absolutely nothing the child could do that would be so bad as to make the father not love the child. (If this sounds familiar, that's because this is from James Dobson.)

And fourth, fathers are to PROTECT.

13 "And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one."

God doesn't protect us from everything bad. He lets some things through to get our attention. Dads should do the same. Using wisdom gained from the Spirit to know when to step in or not. And protection doesn't just mean the father physically steps in. This could be giving your child the security of knowing you are there, like comforting a daughter during a break-up.

Fathers (and mothers) should try to embody these characteristics or prioritizing, protection, provision and pardon.

One of my favorite examples of protection comes from The Patriot. Mel Gibson plays a grief-stricken dad who would stop at nothing (literally) to protect his family. He tried at first to be non-aggressive and not be a role model of a fighter. He didn't want his children looking up to him for his larger-than-life role in wars before. But when that didn't work, he took up his sword and tomahawk.

Q4U: What books or movies out there have a father exemplifying one or all of the traits above?

Wordle: signature

8 comments:

Ralene said...

Wow, Jeannie! That's very insightful of your pastor--something I'd never even thought about comparing. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm going to send people on my blog over to yours!

Tess said...

Wonderful post. I loved our Sunday meeting on father's yesterday as well...very inspiring :D

JStantonChandler said...

Hey Jeannie!

What a wonderful perspective on The Lord's Prayer. Very thought provoking! My dad definitely encomapassed those traits.

Thanks for the comment on my blog, btw! I would LOVE to hear Debbie Macomber speak but, alas, I will not be attending the ACFW conference this year :(

I'm a recent discoverer of Debbie and I have a lot of catching up to do!

I look forward to stopping by your blog often!
Have a wonderful week,
Jennifer

Angie Ledbetter said...

Great post! We so often underestimate the importance of dads. (Listen to John Mayer's song on the topic of fathers/daughters).

I'm your first Follower on CT. Yay!

Jeannie Campbell said...

thanks, angie! although i won't have any posts over there for some time...they'll all be on this blog for now.

thanks for stopping by, jstantonchandler!

House 6 said...

For fictional fathers I think Aral Vorkosigan is one of the best. He loved his son through some very hard trials, fought to give him a better world, and was man enough to let his son make mistakes and break bones.

The best father I know is my husband: always patient, never judgmental, always supportive, never stifling. He is always there for people whether they need a word of encouragement or someone to step in and take care of them. He helps around the house, is a fabulous cook, and can make me laugh no matter what.

Jeannie Campbell said...

hi house 6! thanks for stopping by. i haven't read the Vorkosigan saga. good read, i take it? :)

Katie said...

What a great and thoughtful post! Hmmm...Sadly, there are A LOT of Hollywood movies where the father's don't have any of these qualities.