Father Son Rule?
In the AFL the father son rule is a rule that enables the son of an AFL player to be automatically drafted or picked for a team that his father played for. This has enabled some of the greatest players in the AFL to have a lasting impact on the game over many generations. Some of the greatest examples of this is for example is Gary Ablett Senior and Gary Ablett Junior. Both of these sportsman had extremely successful careers, however it is not just genetics, it is an intentional building of skills that enable a strong growth in all skill aspects necessary to play AFL at the highest possible level. The same idea can be applied to faith. Intentional father son interactions help build the toolkit of a child to enable them to be able to grow up with the necessary spiritual building blocks to enable them to have a strong religiosity with a greater chance of staying in the church.
Fathers as the example
Fathers, fathers are the single most influential figure in their sons life and further to this sons model their morals, ethics, beliefs and hobbies directly of those of their father. A fathers son is his greatest legacy in the world just as Jacob fathered 12 sons each of whom became a leader of one of the 12 tribes. The impact a father can have through mentoring, loving, encouraging and discipling their son is immeasurable and it is through the impact of good father figures that the world itself can be changed.
Perhaps the single most important part of a sons life is the impact their fathers spirituality has on the way that they act in the world. Children and teenagers are the best lie detectors and today they are constantly striving for authenticity more than any generation past. Study after study is today finding that parents are the most important factory in ensuring that the transmission of faith between generations is successful and ensuring that this happens is essential to keeping kids in the church.
Now don’t just think that fathers are only essential to faith transmission, fathers are essential to the value system of kids and also to a child’s larger identity. Personally when I look at my life I see many things that are not related to spirituality or my religiosity however the man I am today is largely thanks to the relationship I have with my father and also much of my identity to the point of 13 was based off both my parents and the way in which they each related to the world. Even today as a young adult I model much of my adult behaviour off of that of my parents. It is this fact that highlights the importance of the presence of both parents being active and present in a child’s/young persons life.
“People in the church talk and preach of this Jesus however the actions that people do and many of the words they speak do not reflect the Jesus that they associate themselves with.”
Are You Authentic?
Every single day young people often referred to as millennials (EUGH). However no matter how one refers to them they are turning their back on the church every single day. People are now finally beginning to ask why and as a member of this very group of people I am here to say that we have realised the sheer number of people within the church who are not authentic. We read in the bible that Jesus served people no matter their position and that he preached being disciples, loving everyone equally and not rejecting people based on sin or political position. People in the church talk and preach of this Jesus however the actions that people do and many of the words they speak do not reflect the Jesus that they associate themselves with. Millennials see this as fake and inauthenticity is the single most repulsive thing to the most diverse, interesting, hard working, educated and accepting generation in history.
So what must we do, we must be real, we must ensure that parents are aware that their children are watching and their actions now determine the spirituality, religiosity and value system of their children in the future. The saying ‘it starts at home’ takes on a new meaning and we have the family model everywhere in the bible right from the beginning. No family is perfect, however one that tries is better than one that is plastic. Remember dads you right now are determining the future of our world.
Andrew Pratt 2016