Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Absentee Fathers

By David Bragg

    The father's image may have been reflected in Timothy's face and build. His mannerisms may have been mimicked by his young son. He may have given his name to the boy who so quickly grew to manhood. It doesn't take much of a man to give those things.
    Eunice taught Timothy how to live (2 Tim. 1:5). She introduced him to a loving God and molded his heart by divine truths (2 Tim. 3:15). At her knees he learned right from wrong, to respect God and to serve others.
    Timothy grew, thanks to his mother, to be respected by all who knew him (Acts 16:1-2). Paul saw in him the spark of a servant kindled under a mother's loving touch.
    Meanwhile Timothy's father is noticeably absent. It is as if his contributions ended at birth. Could his father appreciate the man Timothy had become? Was this man, shrouded in a world Timothy chose not to share, the one who planted in Timothy the fear that would dog his every step as an adult (1 Tim. 5:12)?
    Timothy is an object lesson in a long line of inspired pronouncements for fathers to provide the leadership for which God ordained them. The call for fathers to stand tall in their children's eyes runs deep in the soil of the Old Testament. In Deuteronomy chapter six Moses issued a challenge to fathers that remains especially applicable today. Do not assume that your children know you love them; spend enough time with them in meaningful communication that no doubt about it remains.
    Think of the great strides Timothy enjoyed for the cause of Christ through the investment of his mother. Imagine how much greater Timothy's achievements for good could have been had his father been a father.

- David Bragg serves as one of the ministers at the Northwest Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC and is co-editor of BulletinGold. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: or his blog:

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