Sigmund Freud, the famed psychoanalyst said, “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection”. He could have left off the word “protection” and still been pretty close to the truth.
According to the United States census Board, children who are raised in a fatherless home are:
Four times more likely to live in poverty, seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen, more likely to have behavior problems, be abused, be obese, and go to prison.
What is it about a dad that is so special?
First, it must be noted that there are a lot of men who should be ashamed of themselves. Dads can be abusive to their kids and wife. Dads can fill their plate with selfish ambition to the neglect of their family. Dads can be a lazy. Dads can have no class. Dads can be raising their children to have the same sorry value system that they have. They can be vulgar, perverted, and immoral. These dads aren’t special. These dads need to repent and fill the shoes they were given.
But dads are special first and foremost because God said they are. The 5th commandment of the Old Testament was “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”(Ex 20:12). This verse tells us to show respect for our individual families but at the same time it shows us that God views fathers as holding a special and important position.
Notice how God knew the statistics well before the Census Board did. Paul says “this is the first command with promise”(Eph 6:4). God knew that a strong home with a mother and a father was a gift that keeps on giving to society. God tells us there is something special about fatherhood and for that reason alone, fatherhood is special.
Dads are special because they are the leaders. One of the standout statements of all the Bible is when the children of Israel were at the tail end of conquering Canaan. Joshua was the leader of God’s people and he makes a speech to them reminding them to remember God. In Joshua 24:15, He said “If it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve… as for me and my house we will serve the Lord”. God placed the leadership in the home on the shoulders of the dads. That includes the spiritual leadership. Actually, the spiritual leadership is the most important aspect of the dads role.
Lifeway Research did a survey and they found that on average, Fathers Day is the least attended worship service. America, I think I have found a source for our moral rot! Dads think that they teach kids how to change a tire, how to skin a deer, how to throw a curve, but the church stuff is on mom. Nothing is further from the truth!
In that same study, they noted that when a mother and children go to church without the father, only about 15% of the children continue to go as adults. On the other hand, if Dad goes without Mom, 55% of the children will continue as adults. When both parents go, around 72% of the children continue as adults.
Dads are special because they are the leaders, but the special dads lead their children to the Lord.
Dad’s are special because they discipline their children. Most of us can relate to being kids and giving our mothers hard times during the day and then Dad get’s home… Mom’s do their best to discipline their kids and they are effective, but the discipline of a dad is special. God made it that way.
Proverbs 13:24 says, “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him”. Discipline is a good thing. All it means is a child is being taught. Children may not like the instruction at times, but in the totality they do. Children need rules and instruction. Discipline means you teach the rules and you enforce them. It also means you love your children.
Dads must remember is that as leaders and disciplinarians, they are actually forming that child to be the best human being that they can possibly be. They are giving them the tools to be profitable to society. They are giving them every chance to unlock all of their potential.
Unfortunately there are a lot of dads that think that discipline means you beat your child in a fit of rage. Many dads bully their kids. Any corporal punishment that doesn’t include teaching is abuse. That abuse can be just as damaging to your kids as “sparing the rod” and not disciplining. Ephesians 6:4 says that a dad can “provoke their children to wrath”. Being an absent disciplinarian or being a harsh unloving abusive dad can cause children to turn to evil.
Eph 6:4 says “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord”. Do you want to be the best dad in the world? Lead your family spiritually and teach your child the word of God above everything else. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says we should be talking about the word of God with our children when were sitting around, when were walking, when we go to sleep, and when we get up.
Dads are special because they discipline, but special dads discipline in the Lord.
Dads, you are in a special role. God gave those children to you to mold and shape and turn back over to Him. Please take it seriously.
One of the remarkable things about fatherhood is God makes children so forgiving. If you have not been the type of Dad you need to be, kids will only look at you as even more of a hero if they see you right a wrong.
Right the wrong by being the spiritual leader you are supposed to be. Begin by visiting with us at the Lafollette church of Christ. I hope to see you Sunday.