“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” –Matthew 3:17 The father is the fountain of the family’s joy. Where Daddy is winsomely happy — and happy enough to make the sacrifices necessary for the good of others — a happy family will follow in his wake.
Being a daddy is deeply bound up with joy. Is our joy contagious even to those who know us best and are around us at the most inconvenient times? Are we willing to sacrifice our own personal comforts for the joy of our wife? Will we establish and keep a family culture of contentment — a fellowship of joy — that our children genuinely enjoy?
Learn from the Sri Lankan
Many of us young fathers today would benefit from getting outside our bubbles and breathing some fresh cross-cultural air when it comes to fatherhood. We all have our blind spots and can be easily dragged down by the friction and fanfare of life in the West. What we desperately need more of is not newfangled tips and techniques, but a timeless, transcultural vision of what it means to be an earthly father under the wise and loving care of our heavenly Father.
Enter Ajith Fernando. He is an internationally known and loved Christian author and teacher, called “the Asian John Stott” by some. He was born in Sri Lanka (the island-nation off the southern coast of India), came to the United States for graduate studies, and returned to his native country, engulfed in conflict, and served for 35 years as the national director of Youth for Christ. Most of his career he has served in the perils, pains, and relentless frustrations of the Sri Lankan civil war that began in 1983 and lasted more than 25 years, until 2009.