Father’s Day, An Iconic Day in a Month under Siege

In the middle of this strangely “claimed” month of June, with its propagation of confusion, chaos, and desperate attempts at inclusion, stands an iconic date…Father’s Day.

An annual day to celebrate fathers.

Everyone has a father. And everyone came into this world because they were fathered, meaning, it took a man’s sexual activity with a woman to father a child.

From the outset this was a design by God, inside of His beautiful creation, to be done within the confines of life-long marriage. The ancient Scriptures reveal, “A man shall leave his father and mother (notice he too was fathered) and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

In the beauty of this original design of marriage, fatherhood was also birthed.

Enter Evil

Not long after this beautiful arrangement was made, the first man and woman on the earth rebelled against God’s instructions which resulted in evil (and sin) entering into this created realm and into the lives of humans. Humans made this rebellious decision, when, in a vain attempt to be like God, they wanted to be the managers of “good and evil” when God had strictly warned and forbidden such things. And we have been doing a dreadful management ever since.

Over the course of history, the family unit, including fatherhood has suffered much because of this. Even though everyone has a father, many have dads that are not in the picture. For many, they don’t even know their dads. Some dads have been delinquent, some have left the marriage and family, some are present but not involved, some are always working. Whatever the situation, the case of non-existent dads or insufficient fatherhood can be a problem. And all this brokenness stems back to our original rebellion.

I am glad that God, who is our ultimate and eternal Father, did not leave mankind lost in rebellion and sin. He, as a loving Father, sent His one and only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to redeem it, and to initiate an end to evil once and for all, and all this for His glory. Jesus took on the full wrath of God against rebellion and sin on behalf of those who would believe in Him. For all who don’t believe, God’s wrath still awaits them when they die.

And for reasons that God only knows, He decided to unfold His plan through the “channel”, or “passing through” of this world, and by the means of families who proclaim Him.

Another world will follow this one, free from sin and evil, to be enjoyed by all who believe in Jesus Christ and walk in His ways in the here and now. And so we have an identity to live out in this world. And for those He redeems, He gives the power of His Spirit to live this life through its joys and challenges.

What does that have to do with fathers?

It is key to recognize where we came from, where we are going, and how to live while here. We begin to see and understand that God created all things and is moving all things towards the completion of His plan of redemption and the defeat of evil. Inside of His plan He has given structure as to what families and fatherhood looks like. He wants faithful men to raise up families that fear God and glorify His Name because this advances His plan.

And through it all He provides the grace needed when we mess things up. As He has extended love and grace to us, so we are called to extend love and grace to each other, particularly within the family unit under the charge of Spirit-filled fathers. In this God is glorified. And yes kids, dads need a little grace extended to them once in a while too.

Family by family, led by fathers, we form the people of God and begin to shape and impact the communities around us.

Distortion

Part of the confusion we see in our world today is a distortion of what fatherhood and marriage look like. As we continue to wrestle with managing good and evil, attempts are made to redefine fatherhood and the family. (Our culture increasingly attempts to diminish manhood itself – another whole topic!) We are attempting to rename dads and moms as just partners, and we are attempting to live out the renaming of marriage from “a man uniting with his wife and the two becoming one flesh”, to simply placing any two people beside each other in the same home.

But God’s original way has not changed, we have only witnessed inclusion of things that are not. 

You can call a dandelion a rose all day long and want to place it in a rose’s setting, but it will never become what it is not. It may have a certain beauty in its own right, but the original beautiful design and placement of the rose remains. {Try a dandelion substitute next time you get flowers for your wife.}

Redefining God’s original design in no way changes it. We have simply introduced substitutionary distortions.

And we do so at great risk, all the while insisting “it’s all about inclusion!”. We must be careful that inclusion is not overrun by our own distorted ideas.

Original is Best

So now more than ever it is important to communicate and live by God’s design — and this led by fathers! Remember that a father and mother offer to a home, a marriage, and a family very unique God-designed contributions of what is needed for the healthy upbringing of children. Remember too, that God created man in His own image…male and female He created them. There’s a marvelous completeness that shows up in the home, following that “whole unit” creation of male and female working together…. not one, not the other, but both. And the father was ordained by God as the cover, guard, and protection over this “whole unit” in the home — over his wife and children.

Please understand, I am aware that there are many fantastic dads and moms raising their kids alone for whatever reason, and bless your hearts as you labour in this. But my point is, again, by original design, the optimum way to raise a family is that dad and mom are both present. Due to life’s brokenness (i.e. evil in this realm) this is not always the case. In my own home growing up there was a time when my mom was all alone in raising us kids.

So Fathers, Men…

…We need to be present in our families, lead in and by God’s design, and live out our God-given responsibilities.

As fathers and heads over our homes we are to rule over the earth, whatever piece of it we are responsible for, and to work it and take care of it. (see Genesis 1:28; 2:15)

Follow Christ and testify of Him to other men. 

“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:1-3)

Submit to the Lordship of Christ in everything and speak from that conviction.

“In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” (1 Peter 3:15)

Instruct our children in God’s ways in our daily activities.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on 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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (Deut. 5:5-9)

Do not be a source of frustration to our children.

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Eph 6:4)

Love and protect our wife. She is God’s gift to us. And she is the mother of our children. It’s been said that one of the best things a dad can do for his kids is to love their mother well.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her….” (Eph. 5:25)

Forgive as we have been forgiven.

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Col. 3:13)

Act like men, in a world that attempts to diminish manhood.

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Cor. 16:13, 14 ESV)

Take up leadership in the church.

“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” (1 Tim 5:17)

Work as working for the Lord in everything. 

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Col 3:23, 24)

There’s Still Time

Hey, and if you might be thinking you’ve been a delinquent dad in whatever way, you always have opportunity to take a step towards making things right with your wife and children wherever they are.

When we fail, admitting it is key. Seeking and granting forgiveness begins the process towards reconciliation, renewal, and a way forward.

That stems from a gracious and forgiving God who never holds back forgiveness nor His Spirit from any who ask of Him.

So on this Father’s Day, let it be a celebration of the true identity of fathers as God designed it.

This too, as part of this created realm, is for His glory. God is glorified as fatherhood is strengthened and embraced.

Fathers No Longer

I’ve mentioned the new world following this one, to be enjoyed by Christ’s followers, a new heaven and earth free from evil. Come that time when this created realm is spent, (with evil destroyed and the Christ’s followers complete), then included in the future inheritance for His followers is a final marriage celebration, a great wedding feast… with Jesus as Bridegroom and His church (His followers) as Bride. What a celebration that will be!

Fathers and fatherhood will no longer be needed as procreation will cease. As Jesus said, “At the resurrection (the end of time) people will neither marry nor be given in marriage…”

So now is the time to live out our fatherhood, marriage, and family by God’s design in a world that is distorted and confused about these things. And celebrate these we must, as it is God’s design for life in this world, and brings glory to Him now.

Come the new world, we’ll have plenty of other things to celebrate!

Top Photo by Rick J. Brown on Unsplash


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