Some things in life cost too much to be worth what we give for them. But, sadly, many fathers -- and mothers -- are buying them. Such things are not paid for in money! They are bought with pain and heartache and tears. And the day will come when those who purchase these things will bitterly regret the too-high price they have had to pay!
What are some of these things which no father can afford?
1. No father can afford to build his career at the expense of his family. It is essential that fathers provide for the physical needs of their families (1 Timothy 5:8). But too many fathers see this as their only responsibility to their children. They think that if they bring home a paycheck, put food on the table, and shoes on the kids, they have done their duty!
But fathers need to provide so much more than their financial support. They need to provide emotional and psychological support. More than this, they need to provide spiritual and moral support (Ephesians 6:4). They must teach their children spiritual values and school them in the laws of God (Genesis 18:19). Being a "good provider" goes far beyond material needs. No father can afford to stop at financial support alone.
2. No father can afford to shortchange his children when it comes to his time. It takes time to be a good father. One of the most basic responsibilities of being a father is just being there...being available to your children...being a part of their lives. There is no way to fulfill the duties of fatherhood in absentia.
Between birth and age 21, the average child will spend 105,000 hours awake. About 10,000 of these hours will be spent in school; 2,100 hours in church and Sunday school; and 92,000 hours in the home. But according to a survey taken a few years ago, the average father spend only about 6 hours a year (about 7 minutes a week) one-on-one with a pre-teenage son! Obviously, some children are being shortchanged. No father who takes his responsibilities seriously can afford to give so little of himself to his children.
3. No father can afford to gamble with the souls of his children. The soul is more valuable than the whole world (Matthew 16:26). Jesus taught that it is a terrible thing to put the soul of a child in jeopardy! "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:6). Tragically, many fathers are gambling with the souls of their children. They are doing so by failing to create a spiritual climate for them in the home...by failing to bring them to church regularly...and by engaging in questionable practices which their children will grow up to imitate! No father can afford to take chances where his children are concerned.
As parents, we all need to consider earnestly these "Things No Father Can Afford." Above all, we need to remember that none of us can afford to ignore or disobey God! "God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, this will he also reap" (Galatians 6:7).