FATHERS…are primarily the male parents of a child. Most are biological, but there are adoptive, surrogate, stepfathers and even putative (a man whose biological relationship to a child is alleged but has not been established). There are also priests in the Catholic and a few other denominations that are called Fathers. We have ‘fathers of invention’, church fathers, even ‘founding fathers’ of America, ‘father time’, as well as leading men in a city. But as hard as he tries, he cannot be ‘Mother Nature’.
All of these have at least one thing in common it would seem. They have been a part of creating something or someone, and also are a responsible party to guide a person, a group or groups, even a nation. In a family, the father has numerous responsibilities, but as the name implies, mostly for the welfare and training of his children. He has been given (or earned) the authority and responsibility that goes with the title.
Along that line, guys, God had a specific plan in mind when he unveiled Creation. That sixth day says it all. He created Adam (man in Our image), gave him some irrevocable commands that he was to obey and execute. “Procreate, fill the Earth, subdue it and rule over it” (Gen. 1.26). In order to accomplish this, Adam was put to sleep; woman was taken from him (his equal) but with other responsibilities. You have heard the expression—‘same but different’. Together, God would use them to populate the Earth with people who would serve him and reap the eternal joy and benefits while doing so. Know this—the original plan has never changed!
A special calling
Some of you readers may disagree, but I firmly believe God gave man a special calling (as well as woman), and that was to ‘lead’ his family in the ways of the Lord. He did not create a committee to accomplish this; nor some political entity to make Adam and Eve’s decisions for them. He spoke to Adam, and that says to me, he was dealing out the authority and responsibility to accomplish God’s plan for mankind. Adam flunked the test at the first opportunity to be the ‘father’ and ‘husband’. And so have millions of us fathers since then. Shame on us!
So, that brings us to today in our homes. Since the Lord is called Father, and men with children are called by the same name, how vital is it for fathers to reflect (model) the attributes of our heavenly Father. Young children are making decisions of what the heavenly Father is like by observing their earthly one. Does that chill you to the bone? If not, it should! And it is not just putting a roof over their head and food on the table; it is so much more.
Abiding Fathers was created for one reason; to help fathers understand their role so they may fulfill their role. And the role is—discipleship! What does this entail?
- Being present when you are present,
- showing and expressing love,
- praying with and for them,
- being their best role model,
- mentoring with wisdom,
- teaching at every opportunity,
- disciplining for their good,
- listening to what is said and unsaid,
- blessing them for the Father,
- providing more than material things,
- protecting them in numerous ways,
- making disciples for the gospel of Christ.
Pursuing not perfecting
Remember, you cannot do this perfectly. It is the pursuit with which God is pleased.
“Train up a child in the way he/she should go, and when he/she is old, he/she will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22.6) ‘Training up’ is discipleship of the highest order. It is not just leaving for work, blowing a kiss or an occasional hug. YOU ARE IN CHARGE as a servant-leader of the physical, emotional and spiritual development of your family, most specifically your children. It is time to ‘man up’, accept your responsibility and exercise your authority. Since Christ is your Everlasting Father and has been given ‘all authority’, abide in him and he will make it possible for you to succeed. Your wife and children will rejoice.