Originally Posted by Mike Young August 2005
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
We had a wonderful experience this weekend. The Young family attended an alumni weekend at Camp Alkulana. In existence since 1915, Alkulana is a Christian adventure camp in Bath County, Virginia. It is owned and operated by the Richmond Baptist Association and primarily serves inner city children. Camp Alkulana is a small slice of heaven here on earth. The camp slogan is, Where the reality of God’s love comes to life! It is certainly a special place for us because Stacy and I met there as summer missionaries/camp counselors in the summer of ’89. Our camp romance blossomed into a lifetime marriage commitment (13 anniversaries thus far) and four children.
However, Stacy and I aren’t the only ones for whom Alkulana is special. This past weekend was an opportunity for campers and counselors in the years since 1978 to return to Alkulana and re-connect. A number of former campers and counselors spoke about the camp’s significance in their lives. Although some who attended this weekend event had not returned in many years, their memories of camp were vivid and significant. They remembered camp as a place where they were loved unconditionally, taught they were special, held accountable for their conduct, and perhaps introduced to Christ for the first time. For many, life at home was rocky and unstable when they left for camp and just as uncertain when they returned. Camp was an oasis for them.
Now, you ask, how is he going to turn this into a men’s devotional? Here’s how. As I have reflected upon their stories, I have concluded that we all need anchor points in our lives.
Christ should be our primary anchor. However, in the midst of life’s storms, we also need places and people that are stable, reliable and certain.
Camp Alkulana is an anchor point for many who have experienced it, and that’s wonderful. But, I think it is vitally important that fathers be a significant anchor point in their children’s lives.
In the parable of the prodigal son, (Luke 15:11-32) a young man left home with part of dad’s money and spent it on “wild living”. He ended up with a job feeding pigs. He was hungry with nothing to eat… “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you…’ So he got up and went to his father.”
Although he had wandered from the path his father would have chosen for him, he knew he could return.
Dad was an anchor point for him, but he had no idea his father would receive him as he did…
“But while he was still a long way off, his father was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him…”
Our children should know they can always come home. In addition to other things, children should be loved unconditionally, taught they are special, held accountable for right conduct and introduced to Christ in their homes. Dad, don’t leave these responsibilities to your wife. You need to be an anchor in your children’s lives. Even if your Father was not a very good anchor for you, break the cycle and be a strong anchor for your children.
Keep in mind however, that the anchor is only as strong as what it is anchored to.
Make sure you, earthly father, are anchored to the unmovable, unchangeable Heavenly Father.