I know opinions about fatherhood have changed drastically over the past 30 or 40 years and I would like to address that today. Somehow men have been lowered in value and the role of father has diminished tremendously. Maybe (and I know I’ll get a lot of heat for this) in their attempts to achieve equality with men, women have created a nightmare in the scheme of God’s plan for families.
Parenting is a partnership, just like marriage is. When even the smallest portion of the job is taken away or lacks respect, the job loses value – and whether you believe it or not, parenting is a full-time occupation.
Maybe it’s time to look at what God has to say about being a good father. In Psalm 103:13 we have a good job description.
“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.”
Compassion is a sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. The word probably isn’t used much today, because the average person is more concerned with self than the needs of others. A father is expected to be the spiritual leader of the family as well, and their needs must come first.
Today’s world is geared to narcissistic values and often the ability to serve others gets lost in that. Fathers have often been depicted as the buffoon on such television shows as “All in the Family” up to “The Simpsons” and beyond. It isn’t easy being a good dad in today’s world. Single parenting has become the norm in many situations and leadership takes a hit there too.
As Father’s Day nears, let’s remember how God fathers His children. He loves us unconditionally. He will lay down his life for us. He will continue to care about those who have strayed from Him. He looks at His children’s forgiven hearts rather than their sin, because of death of His Son, Jesus. He corrects them, He protects them, has a blueprint designed for their lives and He is with them throughout those years into eternity.
That’s a tough act to follow, but it gives us a guide for what God expects of dads. Let’s pray for their continued presence in their children’s lives – even when they grow and have children of their own.