A home-schooling father once quoted the above Scripture verse in a talk to a group of fathers. He said that, as a father, he has tried to imitate God the Father by loving his sons and daughters and showing them everything he does, as much as possible.
God delivered King Hezekiah from terminal illness and granted him fifteen extra years of life (Is 38:5). Hezekiah seemed to understand God's purpose for his extra years, saying: "Fathers declare to their sons, O God, Your faithfulness" (Is 38:19). Three years later, he fathered a son named Manasseh (2 Kgs 21:1). Hezekiah had twelve years left to live, but he put his energies into his projects. He proudly showed his political allies everything (see 2 Kgs 20:13, 15). Sadly, he didn't show much or "declare God's faithfulness" to his young son. Hezekiah died, and Manasseh took over the kingdom at age twelve (2 Kgs 21:1). This boy was king for fifty-five years, and was one of the most evil kings Israel ever had (2 Kgs 21:11, 16). By contrast, St. Joseph quietly spent His life loving his Foster-Son Jesus and showing Him everything he did. Jesus grew up to be the greatest "King of the Jews" (Jn 19:19), the King of kings (Rv 19:16).
"Fathers, do not anger your children" (Eph 6:4). It's tempting for a father to take the easy way out and yell at his children. Instead, fathers are called to invest their lives patiently bringing their children "up with the training and instruction befitting the Lord" (Eph 6:4). Fathers are not to nag children, since they might lose heart (Col 3:21). A child wants his father to show him the ropes. He can lose heart when his busy father hands him a "how-to" video.
Whatever the father does, the son does likewise (see Jn 5:19).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2008 through March 31, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007.