Fathers, do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the challenges that come with being a Christian daddy in contemporary American culture? Maybe you feel like comedian Jim Gafffigan who expressed it this way – “Most of the time I feel totally unqualified to be a parent. I call those times being awake.” Loud and relentless voices have distorted and devalued the role of Biblically defined manhood. The role of fatherhood has come under especially fierce and savage attacks. The current moment in our nation finds us moving away from a Biblical view of gender and the particular roles and responsibilities God’s word lays out for each in relationship to the other. The Bible continues to say, and biology at the chromosomal level continues to testify, that “at the beginning God made them male and female” (Jesus in Matthew 19:6 quoting Genesis 1:27and Genesis 5:2). God didn’t create Adam and Eve and then give them a menu of multiple choices about gender. The fallacious belief that male and female are identical and can be swapped off one for the other is gaining traction. Respect for Biblical definitions and teachings about morality and marriage and gender distinctions that was once widespread continues to erode. At the highest levels of government and culture, loud and powerful voices advocate, legislate, and aggressively push for even more widespread acceptance of things once widely viewed as wrong, things the Bible continues to condemn. But simply because a behavior becomes popular does not mean it is pure, and making it legal does not make it moral. Congratulating ourselves on how “advanced” and wise we have become does not automatically mean our thinking is superior or that we have become smarter than God. It is possible, as noted in the apostle Paul’s inspired statement in Romans 1:22, to profess ourselves to be wise even as God calls us fools (morally and spiritually, not intellectually or academically).
So it is, faithful Christian father, you are in a fight! Your distinctive and God-given directive is summed up in the familiar words of Ephesians 6:4 – “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Extremists would tell you your children are as well or even better off without you as with you around. Or that two mommies are as good for your children as a mom and a dad. Or that fatherhood is so unimportant and unspecialized that it can farmed out to others. But don’t buy that. That’s the devil talking. God wasn’t guessing at what might be best for children when He designed and decreed that marriage and reproduction would require “male and female.” By God’s design, Mom and Dad each bring vital but unique and important things to parenthood. No, not every situation is ideal. Sometimes, sadly, death takes a father (or mother) out of the parenting process early in children’s lives. And divorce sometimes makes Dads’ role and contribution to their emotional and spiritual development more difficult to pull off. But research says what people who fear and respect God and His word know to be true in every generation — children need and want a Momma and a Daddy! Dad, don’t let anyone tell you, including some misguided moms (well-meaning or otherwise), that your role is not as vital as Mom’s, albeit in ways hat are different but equally important to your children’s over-all well-being and development. Faith-filled fathers, you are in a fight for your God-given role and also for your children’s very souls! Therefore, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV). So Daddy, act like a man. Culture at large is against you, but God and God-fearing people, including God-fearing moms, are for you. The stakes couldn’t be higher. God bless you to be strong. For the sake of your children, stay in the fight!