The Challenge head image

The Challenge

June 18, 2023

Dr. Paul Cannings

Being a father is a challenge because it is not like mothers do not have anything to say. It is even more difficult when a father seeking to lead a home has another father lurking in the background, especially those fathers who have not been involved in their children’s lives. It is even harder when the child learns how to manipulate the stepfather, and the father while the mother is trying to keep the peace. Being a father can be a challenge, but there is a greater challenge.

It is what we see with Ishmael who is the step child to Sarah, but the son to Abraham. When Sarah gets her own son Isaac, she is determined to not have Ishmael around. Things became so difficult that Sarah ordered Abraham to get rid of Ishmael. Abraham had developed a good relationship with his son, Ishmael (Genesis 21:11) so the issue distressed him. Abraham, because of how adamant Sarah had become, especially knowing what happened in the past (Genesis 16), made the decision to pray rather than react. God responded and provided Abraham direction and Abraham despite the pain, submitted to it. Because of Abraham’s submission to God’s direction and God’s agenda for the nation of Israel, two nations were born, but his sons knew each other and when Abraham died they came together to honor their father (Genesis 25:1-9).

The challenges caused Abraham to grow and mature in his relationship with God. Abraham, despite everything he may have encountered, always kept a worshipful relationship with God (Genesis 12:8; 13:3; 14:17-24; 28:12). This being the center and life-line of Abraham’s life is the core from which Abraham found his direction for productive results. So even though his family was dysfunctional at times, his sons still respected him and gave him honor.

Being honored no matter the circumstances begins with our commitment to first honor God by how we remain worshipful and obedient to His direction. When David passed on, there is no mention of his children being present (1 Kings 2:10-11). As a matter of fact the very next verse went on to talk about sibling rivalry for his throne. When Solomon passed on, the nation became divided and splintered. No matter how great David and Solomon’s accomplishments were, their legacy was not as strong as Abraham’s.

To all the fathers who faithfully take care of their children and those that are not their biological children; o those fathers who did not neglect their kids even in the midst of divorce;, to those fathers whose wives have passed on, or those who have  become a single father by proxy; you have stayed the course and faithfully led and continue to lead your families, Especially to you, HAPPY HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!