Posts Tagged family

Going Home

I must confess that common usage of this terms leaves me scratching my head.
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My parents emigrated from England before I was born. Until the discovery of a long lost branch of the family in Utah we were all but the only representatives of the Downwards in North America. There is one other Downward clan out there, but even they may be related if you search back far enough. The point I want to make is that I do have a specific heritage in which I was raised.

It’s summer in NA. This means people have been ‘Going Home’ on vacation. It won’t be long before talk turns to ‘Going Home’ for Christmas or similar festivities. Not to mention all the people glued to the news about events occurring ‘Back Home’.

I don’t get it. To me, Home is wherever I unpack my suitcase. I recognise that some people are nomads by choice or work constraints, in which case their suitcase could be considered their Home. Others unpack in which ever temperary abode they find themselves in, to which I must reply Why?

My wife and I recently bought a house in Maple Ridge BC. That is now our Home. Before then lived in a bare land strata complex in a place called Anmore. That was our Home until we moved. If we were to move into a rental house in the middle of Iowa USA tomorrow, that would become our Home. (For that matter, such a move would make me an Amercan regardless of what the official paperwork calls me. Though the bigger picture that unpacks would require at least its own blog post.)

To me, Home is a intimate concept, not some place I pine for while made for whatever reason to establish day-to-day roots somewhere else. I visit my parents (though they have complicated the issue by moving several times since I ‘Left Home’). I may someday travel to England and see the places my parents grew up. None of these places are Home.

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On Being A Father

All biblical quotes are taken from the New International Version of the bible

I dedicate this page to my daughter June Melissa Michelle Downward

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a father. The joy and
privilage of bringing a new life into the world and then raising that child to
live a long and productive life has been a lure that called me from the moment I
first understood the process.

Becoming a Christian took that whole ideal and raised it to a new level. As it
is written in the book of Psalms:

Psalm 127:3-5

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in
the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose
quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with
the enemies in the gate.

Psalm 128:1-4

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit
of your labour; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like
a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around
your table. Thus is a man blessed who fears the Lord.

Now some will claim that these quotes only refer to Sons. Within their
immediate contexts this could be said to be true. Within the larger Biblical
context of the Christian world view, however, this is not strictly accurate.

Genesis 1:27

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

Galatians 3:28

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you
are all one in Christ Jesus.

Both of these versus (and many others) point us to the fact that men and women
are equal in nature. Therefore, when we are speaking of the fundamental value
of one gender, we are speaking of both. The only split comes when we begin to
speak of that persons role. Here we see that men and women are called by God to
fullfill different functions, for which each is most suited by the very act of
creation.

It can be argued that the most important job anyone can ever have is that
of raising the next generation. Both science and common sense tells us that the
best possible environment in which this can be done is when there is both a
Loving Mother and a Loving Father actively raising them.

As a father I have taken much joy over the years just sitting down with my
daughter June to read her a story, tell her about something I think she should
know, or even lay on the floor as we play with Lego together. Then there are
those times when she comes with me to the store, to the park, to her
Grandparents, or just driving around on errands.

You see, it is not just enough to be the man who helped to give her life. Being
a Father must also include being the man who is an example to her. I recognize
that she is looking to me as the template of what a Godly man should be. If it
is God’s gift that she be married, I am the type of man she is most likely to
take as a husband. Even if it is God’s gift that she be single for her entire
life, I am the type of man she is most likely to have as a close friend, or even
business associate.

In the end I must recognize that my daughter will catch more things from
me than I will ever teach her.

It is an awesome, and even frightening task, but it is also one of the most
beautiful and fullfilling I have ever encountered.

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On Being A Husband

All biblical quotes are taken from the New International Version of the bible

I dedicate this page to my wife Catherine without whom I would have no
page to ponder. I love you Cat with all my heart.


I also wish to give special thanks to the following:

To my Dad and Mom, who have recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary
after having lovingly raised six children. Their example is an inspiration to
me.

To the Ministry of Focus on the Family and the
outreach of Dr. James Dobson for standing firm for the Institutions of Marriage
and Family amidst the cocophony of voices that would destroy this most vital of
unions.

To the Ministry of Family Life Today
with Dennis Rainey, from whom I continue to gain valuable insight into who I am
as a man, a husband, and a father.

Genesis Chapter 2:24-25

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his
wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked and
they felt no shame.

Here you will notice a pattern:

First: There is a choice to be made. To leave the old way of life and to
begin a new way. In modern terms we could think of it this way:

Stay a swinging single and play the wide range of options, at the expense of
developing a deeper relationship with any one.

Or Leave and Cleave to a single other, foresaking the field with its options for
that deeper relationship we all need. Even Adam found this out in the cool of
the garden, where he walked with God himself: Genesis 2:20b – But for Adam no
suitable helper was found.

Second: There is the notion of commitment, the two become one before God.
Thus a covenental relationship is begun between a man, a woman, and God.

Third: Within this new relationship there is a physical as well as
emotional intimacy that is right and good.

Finding the right woman to spend the rest of my life with is a Gift from God.
Seeking her highest good is the essence of my life. It is my deepest desire to
put her in her Rightful Place, on a Pedestal of Honour.

I will be the first to admit that I cannot do this perfectly. Nobody can. The
joy is not so much in achieving the goal, as in the process of day by day
learning a new way to honour and love her.

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