Fathers and Fatherhood
The burden I have relating to section is very real. I’ve no
wish to simply alienate people by what I write, but neither do I
want to water down its message just to avoid criticism, because
then there would no point in writing it. Truly the fear of man is
a snare; so after some soul-searching this is result.
This critique is directed particularly at the role of fathers and
their responsibility in the home. I realise many fine books have
already been written on this subject; but I believe that what I
am saying here has something fresh to add to what has already been
said. Many Godly mothers have stood in the breech for their families
because their husband was an unbeliever, and we are indebted to
God for them, but it was not God’s intention that they should
carry the burden because the father was absent or had abdicated
his role. When we take stock of the homes in our society today we
can see the sorry state that many are in. The statistics for Christian
homes fare little better than the homes of the so called unconverted.
This state of affairs is inexcusable. The blain for this rests squarely
on the shoulders of the fathers.
We live in a toxic society:
Toxin is poison secreted by a microbe causing some particular disease
One in two marriages fail, and where children are involved the consequences
are inestimable. Presently 150 million children go to bed every
night in America in a home where only one natural parent is present,
and that number is rising. In Australia it’s over two million.
Vast numbers of homes are dysfunctional. Sexual violation, substance
abuse, and gambling are common practice in homes throughout the
country. Millions cannot function without anti depressants in western
societies. Most will never come off these drugs. They are hooked
on them for the rest of their lives. Millions of others have uncontrollable
addictions that drive them to commit violent crimes against the
elderly in particular who are powerless to protect themselves. The
consequences of their vile attacks are immeasurable. These impoverishing
addictions drive to suicide, and an early grave. These problems
include unwanted pregnancies, child abuse, violence and murder.
In Australia and New Zealand we are constantly hearing reports of
mothers and fathers spitefully murdering their own children. This
is a sign of the last days, where Paul said people would be without
As it takes several auxiliary bodies such as doctors, lawyers,
ministers, parents and police, to try and prop up each evil condition;
the situation is hopeless. Because of the enormity of the problem
there are simply not enough helpers, or financial support to make
a difference. As the state of affairs reaches critical mass govt
agencies are at wits end searching for answers that elude them,
and they will continue to do so unless we have a national moral
revolution. That is not likely to ever happen.
Countless young children live in extremely dangerous homes in neighbourhoods
all around us. Yes, that’s right, their homes are a war zone,
and they are always the victims. The suffering and abuse that many
endure is horrendous. After living the first years of their lives
in homes such as these, their brains and emotions have been wired
for every kind of violent, anti-social and moral malfunction imaginable.
Then we must ask ourselves, that if these statistics for broken
marriages is the same among Christians, what percentage of all these
other stats apply? The answer is they are much higher than we are
prepared to admit. A physician told me that 25% of those that come
into his surgery for consultation are suffering from life threatening
ailments; and the percentage is rising. We may be living longer,
but what is the quality of these lives? He went on to say that Christian
patients were coming to his practice wanting prescription drugs
for what was essentially a spiritual disorder. You can mask spiritual
problems, and you can’t cure them with chemicals.
Those of us who have put on Christ will immediately say ‘the
reason is plain’ they do not know the Lord. It’s not
that simple, because in spite that many Christian homes are a war
Blessings and cursing:
The curse without a reason will not come laments the writer of proverbs.
Proverbs 26:2. “As the sparrow
in her wandering; as the swallow in her flying; so the curse that
is causeless will not come”.
First the natural and then the spiritual: let us see how this applies
to the way the new millennium (spin doctors) treat their patients
in their pews? They serve up a diet of fuzzy feel good rhetoric,
with lashings of funky music, and a casual attitude to alcohol and
sex. Why; because they want to keep those seats filled. Many live
defeated lives at home with families that are totally dysfunctional.
Dawson Trotman’s excellent book “Born to reproduce”
gave birth to the Navigators movement.
The principle behind Navigators was predicated on Timothy
2:2. “The things that thou hast heard of me among many
witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able
to teach others also.
We see this taking place between Paul and his faithful son in Christ
Timothy had a good heritage, which was passed down to him through
his mother and grandmother.
John and Charles Wesley’s remarkable Mother did likewise.
Jeremiah asks the rhetorical question when he said in Ch
8:22. Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?
Why then is the health of the daughter of my people not recovered?
The culprit as always is sin. A sin is the result of disobedience.
The divorce rate among Christians is identical to the population
at large, and the consequences paid for by the children are immeasurable.
The absentee father is the major cause for the many ills that plague
society. Christian homes are no different. Many children live in
a home where one marriage partner is not their natural parent. I
the stranger that wins the mothers affection is mostly hated vehemently.
Society in the main has handed responsibility for the training
of their children over to the school; the government; and in the
case of Christians it’s given to the Sunday school teachers
at the church...
Do we have a case to answer? The evidence all around us seems to
imply strongly that we do. Every father needs to humbly look to
himself, and refresh his memory with regard to his role in his home.
He needs to repent and seek forgiveness and act decisively. In restoration
every man built over against his own house. Nehemiah 3:28-30.
There will be no lasting spiritual benefit or change until it begins
in your home.
Where are the watchmen over their homes? Isaiah 62:6.
A little slumber, a little sleep and like an armed man our want
The condition of many Christian homes is tragic. Their excuses for
failure are legion. Things just seemed to sneak up on them according
to them that they didn’t really approve of, but gradually
accepted and then learned to live with. We fathers need to be honest
with regard to our culpability in this wicked state of affairs.
Thank God it’s never too late to act and ask God for help.
He is the repairer of the breach and the restorer of paths to dwell
We needed to do more than lift up our hands in Church. We did it
for years but where were our children when we were doing it; and
more to the point where are they today?
Lamentations 3:40 Let us search and
try our ways, and turn again to the Lord, and when we do, we will
find He is faithful to forgive us and help us to do something about
You can start standing by proxy for each of your children before
the Lord; and begin to cry out to God daily as Job did! Job didn’t
wait until his children turned their back on God; he instructed
them and prayed for them continuously.
Job 1:1-5: “There was a man in
the land of Uz whose name was Job. He was without sin and upright,
fearing God and keeping himself far from evil. And he had seven
sons and three daughters. And of cattle he had seven thousand sheep
and goats, and three thousand camels, and a thousand oxen, and five
hundred she-asses, and a very great number of servants. And the
man was greater than any of the sons of the east. His sons regularly
went to one another's houses, and every one on his day gave a feast:
and at these times they sent for their three sisters to take part
in their feasts with them. And at the end of their days of feasting,
Job sent and made them clean, getting up early in the morning and
offering burned offerings for them all. For, Job said, it may be
that my sons have done wrong and said evil of God in their hearts.
And Job did this continually whenever the feasts came round.
To all the victims of parents that failed them the psalmist says:
“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will
take me up Psalm 27:10. Yes that’s
right, He will gather you up and take you in.
To the fatherless He will become your protector, provider and constant
To the widow He will be your husband.
The Old Testament closes with the most a solemn call to fatherhood.
It is a prophetic promise to all future generations that has both
positive and negative consequences. We will need to get our act
together if we are to be blessed and not cursed.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming
of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and
the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite
the earth with a curse".
Turn the hearts of the Fathers to their children
Turn the hearts of the children to their Dads
Turn the hearts of the Family to each other
Turn the hearts of the children to the Lord
We need to understand that the father’s role is paramount
in the mind of God. We cannot move forward until we acknowledge
Where are all the children?
Every Christian generation seems to be trying to reach its youth.
In many cases they are the offspring of Christian homes that failed
to raise their children for Christ.
Since we are His offspring we must look to our heavenly Father in
Our Father in Heaven is omnipotent; omniscient; omnipresent.
He is the flawless Father.
His position is unassailable.
Conversely we were flawed in every way through the fall.
God intervened, redeemed us, and began the process of re-generation
in us. Since we became His property He has provided everything necessary
for our growth and maturation into full sonship.
John 1:12 To as many as received him,
to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that
believe on his name.
Abraham offered his son to God in an act of obedience.
And God gave Isaac back to father Abraham to raise Him up for Himself.
Many have given away that which they had no right to give.
They have given up their children for a religious dream.
Some fathers handed their responsibility over to their wife.
While some couples went to the mission field and gave their offspring
to a Christian Institution to raise so they could devote themselves
to saving the heathen.
How misguided can you get?
What does it profit a man if he takes the Gospel to a nation, and
loses his family in the process?
What have we sacrificed to pursue our ministry?
Have we neglected our first responsibility to serve a vile institution
They taught us that loyalty to church activities was akin to serving
They said God requires us to respond to our church’s efforts
to fulfil the “Great Commission”.
The Shepherding movement in the US and the House church movement
in Britain in 80’s and 90’s were manipulative and controlling
to the extreme. Are you committed to me said the pastor? Like a
fool I said yes, instead of asking him by what authority did he
ask me to make that kind of a commitment to him.
When you should have been at home with your wife and children,
praying with them, and tucking them into bed, you were immersed
in setting up a pilot program that some American religious spin
doctor claimed would enrich your life and reach the youth of your
city for God; all the while your own children were ignored.
Perhaps you went prayer walking around your neighbourhood because
you heard George Otis Jr waffle on about it; this inspired your
pastor to get you all out at night to do likewise. Or perhaps you
snuck out one dark night to the stake out the gates of your city
for God like Captain Frank Damazio of Bible Temple Portland Oregon.
This isn’t the end of this subject; I’m just warming
up to it.
Yes you’ll hear more you can be certain of that.
To coin a phrase “have a happy day” and you will if
you turn you life over completely to Christ.