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A cord of three strands

By Holly Johnson

According to the National Retail Federation in 2015 it was projected that in the U.S. 12.7 billion dollars were spent on Father’s Day gifts. That same year it was projected that 21.2 billion dollars were spent on Mother’s Day Gifts! What a difference…there’s no comparison!

When reading facts about Father’s Day I must admit my heart becomes saddened by some of the things I observe.

I read this so-called joke – a boy asked his dad “Daddy what’s the difference between Father’s Day and Mother’s Day” … Answer: Father: “Well son you spend way more money and put much more thought into the gift for your mother.” Many of us might say “Oh that’s funny” and maybe even agree with it without even really giving it much thought, but truth be told this is not what God intended.

Mothers and fathers, men and women were originally created to be equal; sharing responsibility in parenting. It tends to be the running joke on TV shows and sitcoms how lazy and “dead-beat” dads are in comparison to mothers. Society paints men to be lazy, detached, negligent and plain idiots at times. Sitcoms like “Everybody loves Raymond” portray fathers this way and in the show Ray Barone pretty much sits on the couch, drinks beer, and watches football while his wife Deborah cooks, cleans, and tends to the children. Unfortunately, we live in a broken society where this does happen in some households, but this was not God’s intention for Mothers and Fathers.

It was never in God’s original plan for mothers or fathers to be better than the other or over the other one, but for them to be equal, especially in their devotion to God and in the raising of children in the way of God. It was never God’s intention for one parent to take on the brunt of the work. Unfortunately, again we live in a broken world where sin has entered and now we are broken people. Thank God for grace amen!

Ecclesiates 4:9-12 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken toil; for if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.”

This verse speaks of the importance of teamwork and unity in Christ. Parenting takes teamwork and when we work together as mothers, fathers, men and women, under the guidance of Christ, we will not break easily! Will things be perfect? Absolutely not, but it will be possible!

I encourage all the men and women, young and old today to read this Scripture and remember two are better than one and a cord of three strands – God, women and men working together in unison in bringing people to Jesus is Scriptural! Let’s break the mold that society has created and teach and exemplify unity as we hold tightly to this Scripture today!

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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Captain Holly Johnson of the Salvation Army, Lock Haven.

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