Monday, July 5, 2010

The Pastor Who Almost Failed As A Father

by Rev. James Wong

This pastor was so busy. He came home very late in the evening, not just for one week but consistently for months. He was working on a very important project—writing and editing Sunday School materials for publication. When he arrived home his two daughters were asleep. Whey they woke up for school the next day he was still in bed. His two daughters could hardly see his face.

Every evening when he arrived home he would quietly go into his daughters’ room and lightly give each of them a kiss. He missed them too. The church work load was great and urgent and he struggled within between getting the work done and spending time with his family. All through his regular absence from home, his wife was understanding otherwise his marriage would have fallen apart. It is so easy to think that serving God takes priority over one’s family. In fact, this is the way most pastors would quiet the voice of conscience within them when they are unable to cope with the demands of the job and not much result to be seen in their efforts.

One evening, as usual, he kissed his daughters and as he was about to leave the room, the younger daughter called “Daddy.” He was surprised. He returned and sat beside her. “You are not asleep yet?” asked the father. “No” replied her daughter. “I am waiting for you tonight because I want to take a look at your face. All my friends has a father, but I only have half a father.”

He knew where he had failed and he decided never to be the same again. The pay that he brought home meant very little to the children. His presence was the most precious gift he could give to them. He shed his tears that night and repented from his way of living. He decided to be a good father.

Many years later while his children were celebrating his birthday, they publicly announced that they had the best father in their lives. He made it to be a good father.

When I heard the confession of this pastor, it touched me very much. There is always a danger for us men to be so engrossed in our work that we neglect the most precious gift in our life - the family that God has given to us.

I did not see the value of spending time with children during their significant moments in their lives until it was too late in my life. My children are grown up now and how would they rate me one day. Will I be the best father in their lives? It is a soul searching time for me. I am reminded that “The man who brings trouble on his family will have nothing at the end. …” Proverbs 11:29 (TEV).

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