July 27, 2020

Weekly Reflection – My Father’s House

Weekly Reflection – My Father’s House

This week’s reflection, My Father’s House, was written by Raymond Key of Katy Texas.  At age 99, Mr. Key is a living treasure of wisdom and a wonderful friend to all who know him.  I have slightly edited the original text.  May you and your family be blessed this week!

Blessings and peace,

Chaplain Allen

The very necessities of life bring members of a family closer together. There are needs connected with the child’s long period of complete dependence that forge links in keeping them as a unit.    The mother’s  dependence both before and after birth acts as a bond to hold the family together.  Perhaps the emphasis on “family rooms” and “fireplaces” just reflects our need for what we crave – fellowship, unity, security.  The desire for some kind of home is created in the hearts of all of God’s creatures (Psalms 84:2) “The sparrow has found a home, and the swallow  a nest for herself.”  Jesus once let his homesickness show when he said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke 8:20)

“Like a bird that strays from its nest, a man who strays from his home.” (Proverbs 27:8)

Without a home where kind hearts and willing hands wait for us, we are without root; and in a very real sense feel lost.  If the family structure fails, we fail in other places.  But if the family is united we can be as God said of Abraham:  “A blessing to the whole earth.”

So long as there are homes to which men turn at close of day:
So long as there are homes where children are, where women pray;
If love and loyalty and faith is found across those sills:
A stricken nation can recover from its gravest ills.
===Grace Nell Crowell===

This leads to a second feature of what a father’s house ought to be, a place of trust and love.  I am not using those words in the sense of a romantic attachment or infatuation, though these can be very pleasant in their place.  But they are not the complete, real basis for a true home.   Take away love and trust and there is nothing left to build on.

Home is where the heart is
In dwellings great or small.
And many a stately mansion
Is not a home at all.
But a cottage lighted with love-light
Is the dearest home of all.

As time changes things, real love grows and deepens, for it is not  dependent on appearances or circumstances.  Solomon said, “Many  waters cannot quench love; neither can the flood drown it.” (Song of Solomon 8:7).  Sometimes we hear friends say at a wedding, “We hope that you will find much happiness.” It is said well meaning, but happiness is not “found” – it is earned; it is learned.  It is built upon what is what is within us.  It doesn’t require perfection, but perseverance; not treasure but trust; not fortune but forbearance, and there will be much to forbear.

The kindest and the happiest pair
Will find occasion to forbear;
And something every day they live
To endure and perhaps forgive.”

Love covers all wrongs. (Proverbs 10:12)

Solomon said “Love covers all wrongs.” (Proverbs 10:12) God said in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) This cannot happen without a lot of give and take; without trust and faith in one another.

For centuries the home was the only unit God had for development of spiritual and social life.  There were no public schools or textbooks; no childcare experts. no public news media.  The transmission of spiritual and social treasures to a new generation was almost entirely the responsibility of the home.  Parents and children worked together, played together, faced the world together. With a changing population and social habits, many family ties were changed if not broken.  Responsibilities were eroded.  Sometimes we allowed the training of children to be transferred almost exclusively to the church and to the public school.  We may shift the task but we cannot shift the responsibility.  Children are a heritage of God, and with them, as with all gifts comes an awesome responsibility.  Shakespeare wrote, “The voice of the parent is the voice of God; for to their children they are God’s  lieutenants.”

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? John 14:2

Read more Weekly Reflections: Chaplain’s Corner