Concerning famous composer, Richard Wagner, Deems Taylor wrote, “What if he was faithless to his friends and to his wives? He had one mistress to whom he was faithful to the day of his death: Music. Not for a single moment did he ever compromise with what he believed, with what be dreamed. There is not a line of his music that could have been conceived by a little mind. Even when he is dull, or downright bad, he is dull in the grand manner. There is greatness about his worst mistakes.
Listening to his music, one does not forgive him for what he may or may not have been. It is not a matter of forgiveness. It is a matter of being dumb with wonder that his poor brain and body didn’t burst under the torment of the demon of creative energy that lived inside him, struggling, clawing, scratching to be released; tearing, shrieking at him to write the music that was in him. The miracle is that what he did in the little space of seventy years could have been done at all, even by a great genius. Is it any wonder that he had no time to be a man?” (Deems Taylor, A Monster, Of Men and Music Published in Hardcover by AMS Press (June, 1937))
It is a matter of perspective isn’t it? From a secular viewpoint, we stand in awe at what men have been able to accomplish in art, music, literature, science, engineering and the like. It seems odd that so many men of surpassing intelligence, even genius can be so thoroughly ignorant, possibly even disdainful of what it means to be a real man. Yet we see them every day. We live under their politicalinfluence and governance. We read their literature. We watch their athletic endeavors. Our lives are made easier by their inventions or our lives are made a nightmare by their inventions of war. From those who grace the respected halls of the academy to men in the gutters of impoverished and drug infested slums, from media moguls to the man on the corner selling papers, from multimillion dollar athletes to the foul mouthed, alcohol smelling bully yelling at his son at the little league game we see them: Men who ought to be real men but who are failing miserably at the task. Worst of all, we see them in too many churches.
We are living in an age of crises. War, terrorism, energy costs, immigration, unemployment and a host of other issues beg for our attention and for solutions. I would suggest that one of the greater crises in our day, in our country, in our town, maybe even in our own church or family is the “Vacancy” sign hanging where the godly, dedicated and sacrificial father and head of the home used to be.
In a Press Release from the National Fatherhood Initiative and Advertising Council concerning the “It Takes A Man To Be A Dad” campaign we read, “In 1960, less than 8 million children were living in families where the father was absent. Today the number of children living in fatherless homes exceeds 24 million, which translates into one out of three children in America. Children living in father absent homes are more likely to be suspended from school, drop out, be treated for an emotional or behavioral problem, commit suicide as adolescents and experience child abuse or neglect.”
We shake our heads and click our teeth at those who father children and abandon both them and their mother. We wish the law would do something to hold them accountable. Could it be though, fathers, that we may be guilty of similar dereliction of duty in our own homes? When is the last time you seriously and prayerfully considered just how you are doing as a husband and father? When you look in the mirror do you see a man who loves his wife and children more than himself? Do you see a man who will sacrifice time, money and even career for his family? Do you see a man too busy for the assemblies of God’s people, too busy for prayer and Bible study at home, too busy for quiet meals with the family, too busy to take an active role in the lives, training, discipline, education and conversion of his children? If so, you may be looking at someone who has “no time to be a man.”
Dear friend, read the following anew and vow to obey from the heart the will of the Lord for a man who is a Christian, a husband and a father:
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” Eph. 5:25 ESV
“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” I Pet. 3:7 ESV
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Eph. 6:4 ESV
Brother Jim Ward tells the story of an Austin lawyer (I believe) who gave his son an airplane (full size) on his 21st birthday. With tears in his eyes the son rejected the gift saying that he would rather have had a father who would have just played ball with him when he was growing up. The busy and successful man didn’t have time.
Fathers, when it comes to rearing your children, if you don’t do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over? Think about it.
Garden Ridge Bulletin