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I am your father, Luke

So says Darth Vader. In this article I will ask the question of who is your father and encourage all of the fathers to take a more active role with their children.

There was an American study of two groups of immigrants who came from Eastern Europe from the same small town who had come to the USA for new lives.

The first group consisted of Jews who were not very observant but considered themselves Jews even though synagogue was not a common practice.

The second group was a group of Christians who did attend church and who would pray with their family.

All was identical with the two groups in terms of socio economic and educational status.

15 years later, the researchers followed up and were astonished at the differences.

In the Christian groups, the children were average or below average achievers. Many had married young and most were in menial jobs. Many had not finished high school and while some had gone to college most dropped out. The girls had generally found partners to live with while a few had married within a church. Most of the marriages had failed.

In the second group the researchers noted that all the children had gone on to accomplish their goals. There were some who entered the workplace early but had quickly risen to become department heads. There were some teachers, now principals. There were doctors and surgeons and accountants. None were in menial jobs and all of whom had risen in their professions, Those who married had happy stable marriages.

The ONLY difference was that every night at supper the Jewish fathers would tell their children that they would be the best in their fields and that he believed in them. From the time they were very small the children understood that their father was behind them and believed in them.

Fathers you make a huge difference. While it is our mothers that make sure we have mitts in the winter and warm soup in our thermos' for school it is you the fathers that encourage us and give us the strength to change the world. You give us the strength and the courage to become the best and not to settle for second third or fourth best. You are proud of us. Too many fathers see their roles as just providing money but never take the time to actually encourage and indeed love their children.

Do you know who your children are? Do you encourage them? Do you share with them the faith, values and morality? Do you teach them virtue like honesty, courage, fortitute and prudence? Do you teach your sons how to be men and teach your daughters how to be women? Do you protect? Do you inspire? What are they reading? Who are their heros? Do you teach them how to lead or how to follow?

Will they accept Darth Vader as their father and turn to their own wills and desires or will you instill in them a fear and love of God and an understanding of your love so that they may go on to change the world.

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