I was asked this week to give away one of my most prized possessions. I have had it for 26 years and I knew (and had hoped for some time) that this day was coming. I am talking about the fact that a fine young man took the opportunity to ask for my permission to marry my eldest daughter.
My daughter is of course an individual who is free to make up her own mind but I was really glad to be asked. It was a nice ‘old fashioned’ touch that meant a lot to me. It also gave me the opportunity to ask a couple of questions of my own…
I did for a moment think of sending him out on a quest to prove his bold, undying love and commitment. I also thought about the possibility of requesting a herd of goats as a dowry…but instead I settled on a couple of questions which related to how he felt about her and how he intended to strengthen her and stand with her as they make their life together.
I am very excited for them but I could not have been supportive if I wasn’t sure that they were good for each other and that they shared love and commitment for the future. I know that there are lots of great days ahead of them, some full of joy and some full of challenge, but together they will be able to face it.
As I thought about my role as a father it gave me reason to pause and contemplate our Father in heaven. The central message of the complete Bible can be summed up in a single verse from John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…”
The importance of the gift cannot be under estimated neither can its inherent value.
God gave each one of us the right to accept or reject, to learn from or ignore the gift of His Son. As a Father, He relinquishes the authority to you, one in whom He has the greatest hope.
As parents, my wife and I get to sit back and to watch our children make their way in the world, we offer advice, we offer help but the choice is up to each one. Your Father in heaven has set plans ahead of you but it is up to you how you will respond. I hope that you are ‘old fashioned’ enough to care and respond to all He hope for you!