Father’s Day Edition

Posted on June 17, 2012. Filed under: Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , |


As I was shopping for Father’s Day cards I realized America doesn’t have too much respect for dear ol’ Dad. According to Hallmark, the only thing that will pull Dad away from having a beer while he’s watching TV in a cloud of his own flatulence is a rousing game of golf (though, admittedly, I did let my son get a bathroom humored card). If you turn on a “family” TV show, Dad is typically caricatured as chauvinistic absent-minded fool.

Homer Simpson

Homer Simpson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While I realize television characters and card illustrations of fathers are made in jest, I do think it’s a pretty accurate depiction of how degraded the man’s role in the American family has become. It seems that that the responsibility for the family is increasingly falling on the shoulders of Mom, rather than Dad. In many families,  Dad may (or may not) bring home the bacon, but Mom does too and also determines how finances are allocated, how children are raised, what church to attend and the rules that govern the household while Dad enforces whatever Mom decides is law. And when 50% of marriages end in divorce and 40% of children are born out of wedlock, many times Dad simply isn’t around at all.

Even though it’s ‘normal,’ having a physically or emotionally absent Dad has it’s downsides. Boys without fathers are twice as likely to drop out of school, twice as likely to go to jail, and four times as likely to be treated for emotional/behavioral problems as boys with a father. Girls are more likely to become sexually active earlier in life, have lower academic performance, and are more likely to use drugs and alcohol without an engaged father.

Despite what the world says, God has high expectations for fathers. Of course women have roles to fulfill (certainly the never-ending pile of laundry), but responsibility for the family ultimately rests on men of God (1 Cor 11:3, Eph 5:23). Most husbands love the idea that their wives and children should submit to their authority, however they don’t care for the responsibility of command. Men cannot take a passive role in their children’s lives; leaving them to learn the ways of the world from music, movies, and public schools. Instead they must remain engaged, providing for their families as Paul said, “But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers” (1 Tim 5:8). ‘Providing for’ does not only entail physical needs. God calls men to be leaders for their families, “ Fathers, 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” (Eph 6:4). God revealed His instructions for life to us in the Bible. God’s instructions cover how to relate to one another in marriage, friendship, and other relationships, how to handle our finances, how to view politics and our work. He even covers vomit-eating dogs (Prov 26:11). God calls Christian men to be active, constantly teaching their families about Him and demonstrating His love through their actions (Deut 6:4-9). They are to live a life worthy of their families’ respect.

This Father’s Day take time to reflect on the awesome responsibly God has entrusted on Christian fathers. Don’t just give him a card or a tie, offer him love, respect, encouragement, a prayer and if he’s been especially good, the remote.

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