I’ve been thinking a lot about fatherhood recently.
It’s so important – so vital to a child’s security and development – which is, of course, why the enemy has targeted fathers throughout the generations.
Why is fatherhood so important? Well, it doesn’t take a genius to see that there was a Father who had a great relationship with his kids back in the beginning. God and Adam. The original relationship. And then, God and Adam and Eve – the two humans made in His image to reflect His glory and character as they became like Him through their evening walks, talks, and fellowship. But the enemy slinked in there and drove a deep wedge in that relationship, causing them to be disconnected from their Father.
That was the bit where the children turned away from the Father. But, in the years to come, many fathers have turned away from their children. It’s not surprising, as those fathers likely never knew real fathers themselves. And so the cycle has continued.
God is passionate about family – about fathers and children – about right relationship. I mean, just take a brief look at all the genealogies in the Book. God cares about family! Scan through the royal bloodline in the books of Kings or Chronicles. The lives, examples, and influence of the fathers has a huge impact on the sons.
Did you ever notice how great kings and men of God like King Hezekiah, who destroyed high places and trusted God for great deliverance for his people and experienced miraculous healing, were crummy fathers? Seriously. You get around to the next generation only to find sons who revert back to heathen ways (2 Kings 21:1-9). Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, went right back to idol worship and human sacrifice! This should be a sobering thought for anyone who loves the Lord. Your passion and zeal for the Lord is great, but are you passing it on? That’s what it means to be a real father!
And isn’t it interesting that there are some sons in those bloodlines who broke out of the sins of their fathers? Like King Joash, for instance. As a baby, he was hidden away from members of the royal family who wanted to kill him. He was raised without a biological father, but Jehoida, one of the priests of God, took responsibility for Joash, raising him in the house of the Lord, and advising him as he grew and took leadership. The Book says, “And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all of his days because Jehoida instructed him.” (2 Kings 12:2)
Men, God’s given you a high calling! You can carry the very nature of our heavenly Father as you fulfill the father-role for your own children and the many fatherless among us.
To the true fathers I know, thank you for your love, energy, and investment in the lives of your children, biological and otherwise. Your labor in the Lord is not in vain. May God raise up many more men like you, who carry the heart of our Father in heaven.
Happy Father’s Day!