Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Love of a Christian Father

At yesterday's men's breakfast, the issue of abortion came up, and Austin told us a family story of a Christian father's leadership and love.

Years ago, Austin's uncle and aunt brought into their home to live a teenage boy, 15 or 16 years of age, whose own family was so broken that the young man did not have a place even to sleep. (Austin's uncle and family are members of the Reformed Church, where Austin's immediate family were Pentecostal. He described how important and intensely held were the particular Christian beliefs of their two families, and it seemed to us that presently a great deal of that intensity has seeped out of American Christianity.)

The boy was about the same age as a daughter of Austin's uncle, and after awhile she became pregnant by the boy. I can only imagine the intensity of that crisis. Abortion would have been a quick solution and, of course, throwing that ungrateful boy out of the house.

Instead, Austin's uncle told the young people they needed to get married and, as their respective guardians, he signed the marriage license on behalf of each of them.

Now this young couple have grown up; they have 8 children and a couple of grandchildren. (Austin said the couple's own children married young.) They live in their own house, near where Austin's uncle and aunt live, with a big yard that has a big tree and a tire swing and a bunch of kids running around having fun. The young man is a cabinet maker and so good at it that wealthy people from Boston fly him to their city to do work for them. Their first baby was a boy, Josiah, and all of their children have Biblical names. Josiah attended Pensacola Bible College.

I have heard Austin tell that story before, and I love to hear it. What a wonderful story of love, of a sort of muscular forgiveness on the father's part, and of how God redeems a difficult situation, especially when those "in charge", a father this time, are obedient to him.

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