(This week’s devotions are based Week 1 of a Sermon Series on the Lord’s Prayer. LISTEN TO IT HERE)
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
Perhaps for the first time, over this past weekend and early this week I heard a number of comments on the radio and in print lamenting the demise of fatherhood in our country. One article (sorry can’t remember the source) indicated that America is the leading “fatherless” country in the world.
That’s not a statistic to be proud of.
While not the solution for every ill of society, the breakdown of the God-ordained family structure must be considered as a cause for a good amount of the dysfunction, mental issues, and crime in our country. Statistics show that individuals who are without a father are more likely to have mental issues and be in prison for crime.
Why is that?
God designed the family with each person, mom and dad, having a unique roll to raise children. (Note: If you are a single mom or dad, may God give you wisdom and stamina to raise your children. These comments do not diminish the importance of what you are doing or minimize the role of a mother. They are simply highlighting and calling men who have fathered a child to step into the role they have and not slink away from it. Children need a dad who knows and loves Jesus and seeks to guide his family to do the same. It’s the way God intended it.)
So what is the role of a father? Perhaps as we look at our heavenly father, we catch a glimpse and example of our earthly role as a dad. Here are six key areas for us, with the Lord’s help, carry out as a father to our children, and encourage other fathers to do the same.
- A father provides.
Often as guys we think of providing a paycheck which provides food, clothing and shelter (and more) to our families. While this is important, don’t forget that providing is also providing emotional support and spiritual support to your family. They need you involved in their lives, not just money in the bank.
- A father protects.
Again we often think of protecting our families physically, but don’t forget again to protect your marriage, protect your relationship with your kids and with your Savior.
- A father directs.
Scripture talks about training a child in the way he should go. A father is directed by his heavenly Father and does his part to direct his children and family in the ways of the Lord.
- A father disciplines.
Discipline is the process of making a follower of Jesus. Rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness are all appropriate activities of a dad.
- A father loves.
As we have been unconditionally loved by our heavenly Father, we get to model that to our wife and children.
- A father leads.
The Lord has entrusted godly leadership to the husband/dad. Humbly follow your Savior and with the Spirit’s help lead your family to do the same.
Overcoming the title of “fatherless country” begins with each one of us who are in the role of father. We set that example for our sons and the young men around us. May God use us who call him “Abba, Father” to be a godly father to our families!
Apply: Which of the six would you say is your strength? Weakness? Ask and seek the Lord to help you grow in that area!
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for your provision, protection, direction, discipline, love and leadership. We are blessed by it and through it may we be a blessing to our families and others, AMEN.