Men are unique in that man represents the true image of God. While the first woman came out of man, God breathed life into the first man, and everything that is created refers back to his first created being.
Satan knows where to attack God’s people, and he makes a point to attack the men of the world, the image of God’s creation. Satan creates a false image to a man that distorts his view of the world and where he sees his role and importance. Much of it is rooted in selfishness. A man does not sleep around and make babies. A man does not gain respect by fathering numerous children and then not taking financial responsibility for them. A father, depending upon his character, can be either a blessing or a curse to his children.
This is a message about the character of a man. A man is not a father just because he has made many conquests of women (statistics show that many men that father children out of wedlock are unlikely to know their own father). Tragically, about 24 million children live today without knowing who their real father is. Fathers abdicate their responsibility of fatherhood for two reasons: financial reasons and a lack of a sense of morality. There is a need for men to have a greater sense of responsibility as to the role of character in raising a family. In this way, a father gains and earns respect.
A father should take the leadership in his ability in providing for his children (Luke 15:11; Proverbs 13:22). He needs to be smart with his finances in order to set the example for how to manage money for future generations. Note that in Luke 15, the father must have demonstrated the principles and values of God, for the son knew that he had to leave the household because he did not want to follow those values (Proverbs 20:21). No one celebrated when the son left home because everyone in the home knew what he was going to do (Luke 15:13). The father did celebrate once his son returned in repentance (Luke 15:20). He was willing to come back to his father to his household and under him and in submission to him. He knew where his father stood morally (Proverbs 22:6). Even though the father was likely very disappointed in his son, he was practicing unconditional love.
A man should reflect fairness and righteousness in his dealings with his family and his children. Your children will take note of your righteousness and your character in your daily behavior.
Fathers need to talk to not just their daughters but also their sons about abstaining from sex before marriage. It is also an issue of character and consistency. As men (and women), we are to live our lives in such away where we, in our proper behavior and obedience to God’s Word, will be a blessing to our children. It should be the desire of every man, as a parent, to provide the proper teaching and instruction to their children, so that, even when they do lose their way, they will be able to find their way back because of your guidance and nurturing. Rather than criticizing a child’s mistakes after the fact, we should be happy and compassionate when our children repent of their sin (Luke 15:18-24). The father in Luke 15 had to instruct his other son of this principle when he protested over the celebration that was given to his younger son (Luke 15:25-32).
Part of being a father does sometimes mean lowering your pride and showing the rest of the family your own imperfections. A good father remains patient and takes time to listen to his children, and is not afraid to admit when he makes a mistake. This is part of a development of a healthy image that a child should see in their father.
Why is the good character of a father important? These are the characteristics that God exhibits in how He deals with us. God is gracious and merciful with us as we emerge in repentance of our sin. Thankfully, even though we were dead to sin, we live in Jesus Christ.
Fathers, we are to live our lives with God’s knowledge, wisdom, and His enabling strength as we remain obedient to Him. It is the best way to create a lasting legacy for our families and our children for generations to come. Fathers, especially godly men, are needed today, now more than ever.
Happy Fathers Day from all of us at Akron Alliance Fellowship Church.