[Photo of Sahar Sadlovsky Gold and child used by permission of Sahar Sadlovsky Gold. Thank you!]
The child is with her father. He holds her in his lap. He looks at the Book of Concord. She looks at the Book of Concord.
She cannot read.
Don’t be so sure. She might not be reading the Book of Concord yet, but she is reading her father. She is reading her importance to him, felt and understood by his sitting still with her, his holding her. She is reading the book’s importance to her father. He seems interested in it. She wants to see what he sees. It will be some years before she does see it, but she is on her way in this: the influence of her father.
Influence of fathers is built into nature. But it also is developed into this or that direction by nurture. Nature and nurture together. Start early nurturing what nature gave you, the natural influence of fathers with their children.
This is a precious photo, and every father of a young child can do this. It takes no special competence, no class at the church, no past role model. From plain, natural, fatherly affection for your child, just start. Doing at all is the right way of doing.
If you are uncertain, let me give you a collection of encouragements to overcome what scares you.
1. God is for your children, and God is for you as father.
2. The Catechism is simple, and using it is simple.
3. Your influence is built into nature.
4. Repetition is effective.
5. Children like to answer questions.
6. Your own faith and confidence in Christ will grow.
To read a little more about these encouragements, see Encouragement for the Scared Father