Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

As convinced as I am that praising our mothers encourages motherhood, I am equally convinced that praising our fathers encourages fatherhood. So, it seems only fitting that today, on Father’s Day, I praise God for my dad, and also speak briefly to the necessity of male leadership in the home.

While feminists will try and tell us that patriarchy is the root of all kinds of evils, God reveals to us in, His holy Word, that biblical patriarchy is the way in which He chose to order His creation and reveal His glory. The Fall has so distorted manhood that at the very glimpse of male leadership, we feel the urge to cry “oppression”. But the type of leadership that God designed for men is the very antithesis of a domineering, slave driving, lustful man that is caricatured by the culture and those opposed to biblical patriarchy. And I am convinced that in order to redeem what has been lost by the Fall, we must begin recognizing true manhood when we see it.
My dad did not grow up in a Christian home, and when he married my mom (at age 20), he didn’t have a model to follow. By the grace of God, he and my mom resolved then to know and study the Bible, and then to live by it. To this day, I am still “old fashioned” when it comes to Bible study because I was raised by a dad who simply opened the Bible and taught it to us.

I still remember the frustration and embarrassment I felt when I had to tell my employers that I couldn’t work on Sunday’s because it was the Lord’s Day. While I did not understand, or embrace, that lifestyle then it has now become a conviction that I hold on my own. And when teenage attitudes threatened to reign in our house, there would be no slamming doors and storming out of conversations—we always had to deal with the conflict.

Even though my dad would be shaking his head right now, only remembering the ways he could have done better, his ability to admit his shortcomings and apologize instilled in all of us a sense of humility, and even more respect for his leadership over us. In a day where many dads are out to climb the corporate ladder, my dad would spend his time coaching pee-wee football and taking his sons and other fatherless children to basketball tournaments. And as much as I despised his intentionality with my English classes in high school (after getting a “C”, he made me get a weekly progress update from my teachers until my grade improved), it made me work harder—even to the point of graduating from college with a degree in English.

Although I am eternally grateful for the dad that God has given me, I am reminded today of the many children who had no dad to give a card to this morning. For many of these children it is just another Sunday, another reminder of the void that is left by the absence of a father. As Christians, not only should we recognize our fathers for their presence and work in our lives, but we should also reach out to the fatherless and orphans who have no one to call “daddy”, who have no dad to take them on dates, and who have no dad to take them to Little League games. The beauty of biblical patriarchy is that it points us to a heavenly Father who is a father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5). So, if the Lord has graciously blessed you with a dad, praise Him, but remember that somewhere there are little hearts breaking, little one’s who did not celebrate Father’s Day. Let us not forget about their cries tonight, and point them to the perfect Father.

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