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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



One evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small son into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a trembling voice, "Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?" She smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. "I can't, dear," she said, "I have to sleep with your daddy." A long moment of silence was broken by his shaky little voice: "The big sissy." I don't mean to . purposely offend anyone in this politically correct culture, but Father's Day prompts a burning question:  “Is there a man around your house?”  Increasing numbers of women and men in America seem to believe, or at least act like they believe, that men are optional equipment for the home. The result is an alarming number of homes where a man simply can't be found.

This sad state of affairs reminds me of the Bible passage in Ezekiel 22:30 where a similar tragic and dangerous situation had developed in ancient Israel: "So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one." With all due respect for millions of strong, capable women and for that army of valiant single moms doing their best in the face of titanic pressures, there are still at least two jobs for which God especially designed and to which He specifically calls men. Modern thinking aside, it still takes a man to be a husband and a father! I'm not just talking about a male who works a job and sleeps in the house but is otherwise largely disconnected from his family. And I'm certainly not talking about a brute who swaggers and swears and intimidates his wife and children into submission through verbal, emotional and physical violence. I'm talking about a husband and a father like the one we read about in Ephesians 5:25-6:4 — a man who loves God, his wife, and his children more than he loves himself. A man like the kind of man Jesus was. Tender but tough. Compassionate and committed. Firm but forgiving. Powerful but patient. Godly but gentle. Strong enough to be submissive to God. Leading his family while following Jesus. Taking care of business while at the same time taking up the cross. Concerned about his house but more concerned about his home and the people who live in it. Teaching by life and by lip that faith and fidelity and honesty and integrity are more that just words. A man who understands that his most important job on this earth is preparing himself and his family for eternity. It still takes a man to be a husband and dad who stays put at his post. He may be getting hard to find, but God is still looking for that man.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ