Dad, daddy, pop, papa, pa, and father. Many names, but the same job description.
The term “fathering,” means to treat with protective care. It means being involved, behaving responsibly, being emotionally engaged, physically available, providing financial support, and having influence in child-rearing decisions.
THE STATE OF FATHERHOOD
Before the industrial revolution, dads worked side by side with their children and both taught, and lived out, the critical character traits needed for a successful life. Traits such as: honesty, patience, integrity, hard work, and perseverance. Traits that helped build a great nation.
When the industrial revolution showed up, fathers left their farms and headed to the factories. Long workdays and swing shifts set the stage for the absentee father.
Over time, fathers often became regarded as merely breadwinners who fulfilled their paternal duty by providing. Dads made the money and moms did everything else.
That kind of thinking has had a negative effect on the home!
Today in America, 43% of all children live without their father. Ninety percent of all homeless and runaway children, 71% of all pregnant teenagers, 71% of high school dropouts, 75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers, come from fatherless homes.
Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of high school, twice as likely to end up in jail, and four times more likely to need help for behavioral problems.
Some people ask, “Are fathers necessary?” The answer is a resounding yes!
I don’t list these statistics to frighten you. I want to show fathers just how important it is that you take an active role in your child’s life. This will help not only your child, but also improve your relationship with your spouse.
In education alone, statistics show that children with fathers are 40% less likely to repeat a grade in school, 70% less likely to drop out of school, are more likely to enjoy school and engage in extracurricular activities, and are more likely to make A’s in school.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS
“Fathers,” we’re a God idea. The creator of the universe describes himself as a Father. He also describes himself as Love. This describes action not just feeling. Love is what you do for somebody, not what you feel about them.
Scripture gives us some insight as to what God expected:
- Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV) Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
- Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NKJV) “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
- Luke 11:11-13 (NLT) “You fathers—if your children ask[a] for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”
- Ephesians 6:4 (NLT) Fathers, [a] do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.
- Colossians 3:21 (NLT) Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.
- Hebrews 12:9 (NLT) Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?
SUMMARIZING: A FATHER’S RESPONSIBILITY
- Teach your children.
- Train them.
- Give them good gifts.
- Do not provoke them to anger by the way we treat them.
- Do not aggravate them.
If you didn’t have a father around or if you’re a single mother, God promises to be a father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5). Don’t let statistics make you think a situation is hopeless. No situation is hopeless with God. He has a great plan for you and your family!
If you are a father, take what God’s Word says and make that your aim for fatherhood. God set the standard and all we need to do is follow that example.
Joe McGee Ministries
This article is from MoJoe Newsletter 6/18/2015