Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Essence of Fatherhood

The ultimate measurement of manhood is to become a father. It is not just the ability to procreate but to function as a father in the right sense of the word! Then when you’ve reach the grandfather stage, you know that you have come a long way. It is the “grand” stage! Thus, wisdom and experience has given you enough ammunition to be the best grandfather instead. What a deal!

What do the Scriptures say about the role of fathers? The father's great duty was to teach God's laws continually to his children as stated in Deuteronomy 11:18-21, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.” (NIV)

This I believe is the spiritual task of every father as assigned by God Himself. Therefore, knowing God is a key component to being a successful father in all aspects of the word. A father must start with this basic foundation of being a spiritual leader first and foremost. Knowing this will provide stability and direction for the whole family. That is why the old saying, “The family that prays together, stays together,” is a constant reminder for the unity of the family under the headship of a father. And having this kind of commitment by the family with the father at the helm is in line with God’s plan and purpose. Because doing otherwise will result in dire consequences as we see in our society nowadays.

The concept of “absentee fathers” is a sad tale of a society losing its bearing and priority. Allowing the disintegration of families and accepting the absence of fathers is unacceptable to God’s plan. Yet there is still time and opportunity to redeem the essence of fatherhood. Though there might be “absentee fathers” but there are still many fathers that are faithful to their calling. Therefore, a movement to call out responsible fatherhood must be proclaimed to go back to the ancient path that God established.

Fathers were not made to become just the provider nor the protector of the family; his main priority is to provide the necessary leadership that towards a godly relationship. In doing so, the father will act as the priest and the prophet of the family in declaring biblical and godly principles as stated in the Scriptures. To every father was entrusted the care of the family toward its development and growth in all aspects of life. Thus, the saying, “Father knows best,” is an appropriate description in this regard. That is why I believe that this poem and a prayer for all fathers and grandfathers speak volume:

A dad is a mender of toys,
A leader of boys.
He's a changer of fuses,
A healer of bruises
He's a mover of couches,
A soother of ouches.
He's a pounder of nails,
A teller of tales.
He's a dryer of dishes,
A fulfiller of wishes
Bless him, O Lord.

Though fathers receive fewer accolades than mothers, each has its own characteristics and attributes worthy of honor. It is just that fathers are a different breed that needs to be directed back to its mandate. Fathers must rise out of obscurity that it created due to the many pressures of life. Sadly, many have settled into. The time has come that fathers must take the primary role and come out of the background to the forefront of its calling as the most senior member of the family.

Let this Father’s Day become an important reminder of God’s calling to all fathers and grandfathers alike that every family needs your leadership back to God and His principles. C’mon, you are God’s voice to your children. Therefore, speak up!

Let’s talk again!