“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Men at Work VII - Fathers

I thought I would close with this series on men addressing the aspect of Fatherhood.

I am shocked and horrified with the news nowadays -- it is common to read about a man killing, maiming, raping or abandoning his children! What a world we live in -- no longer are children safe within the arms of their father! Truly, Romans 1 is reflected in our society today!

Sadly, many of these men never had fathers in their lives, and so therefore, they never had a role model to look up to. And so many, even in the Christian community, are/were 'latch-key' kids, growing up with a limited access to their fathers. Many were raised with their moral and ethical foundations formed by the TV and their peers, in lieu of their father.

The church today and for the last several generations, has not held men accountable as fathers. They teach men to go out and act out their adolescent fantasies, somehow believing that this will bring men back into the church. What we end up with is a bunch of immature adolescents, not fathers and husbands.

Men do not need to be 'enabled' to act out their fantasy of being Claude Van Damme, or Stephen Seagal -- they need to be taught what a father's role is in the family. A man is to teach his children -- catechize them, lead in prayer, and be the one who heads up the evening Bible Study with the kids. Dad needs to be viewed as the spiritual leader of the home. All too often, even within the Christian community, fathers come home, plop down on the couch and pick up the remote -- their interaction with their children limited to taking them to football, softball and other activities which have supplanted a family's time together.

Christian men should first and foremost, model the life of a Christian for their children. Secondly, he should teach them of God and His holiness -- a reverent fear and awe that should be reflected in the life of the father. Third -- dad should love mom, and exhibit that love and respect for his wife so that his children see it. What a great model -- men can point to their marriage as a model of Christ's love for His people -- the marriage is the picture kids, albeit imperfect.

I have a problem with a men's ministry that is focused solely around men acting out their childhood fantasy -- be it motorcycle riding, hiking, shooting, hunting. Men's ministry should be focused around Christ, and our relationship with Him first and foremost, then it should focus around men's role within their families and eventually moving outward to their role within the church and society.

But when we have men's ministries that are nothing but a cover for 'activities' that we want to do, I think we have missed the mark. Let's get our men ministries back in line with Biblical foundations -- holding one another accountable as fathers and husbands, lifting one another up in prayer and modeling Christian manhood for our families!

Finally, I say to you father's -- love your children enough to impart in them a love for and reverent fear of God. You are not being loving by allowing your children to 'find their own path' to God. You are being hateful. If you are truly redeemed, that means that you believe that Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father but by Him -- why would you enable your children to figure that out on their own?

We need more Godly fathers -- NOT more self-confident posers...

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