Men who have never had a positive father figure can learn how to embrace masculinity through the Bible's teachings, says Mars Hill associate pastor Dave Bruskas.
Much of what the Bible teaches, specifically the pastoral epistles found in the New Testament, is that men should learn how to take on their responsibilities by beginning at home. Although the pastoral epistles are letters written by Paul to Timothy with instructions on how to lead as a pastor, Bruskas notes that those passages provide insight on how to be a man whether an individual is called to be a pastor or not.
"Part of masculinity and being a man is what scripture would refer to as shepherding because you shepherd your wife and children. God has put in us an innate desire to do that. I think much of being a man, whether or not you have the office of an elder in a church or you're just really a faithful member is shepherding," said Bruskas, in an interview with pastor Mark Driscoll.
He noted that during his time at Mars Hill and even outside of the church, he has noticed situations in which fatherless sons run into sonless fathers for mentorship and guidance.
Bruskas, who only has daughters, says he can relate since he recently released a book, Dear Son, as a guide for insight on how men can manage life's issues.
In addition to being a guidebook, Bruska says he hopes his message reaches a specific type of man.
"I want to take the Christian young man who is very aware of his deficiencies. He's feeling it, he's failing and things aren't going as he would like and he probably has some strong bitterness against what he didn't have like a dad and I want to give that young man hope," said Bruskas.
He added, "I want him see that the Bible can help him and encourage young men to get involved in church community because even though his biological family has failed him, God makes provision for him in his spiritual family."
Bruskas said the best example he has seen of what a Godly man really is as described in the epistles, is his own father even though he has never held the title of an elder or pastor in church.
"His shepherding goes beyond our family, he shepherds his community and people who don't even know Jesus and takes responsibility for the things he sees around him and loves and serves in the name of Jesus," said Bruskas.
Although his book is aimed toward men, Bruskas says his message is also directed to single mothers as Driscoll noted that the majority of children in America today are born to women under 30 and out of wedlock.
"Even though the man who fathered your son isn't around, Jesus loves you, He's given you His word and a spiritual family that you can belong to," said Bruskas.
In a previous interview with Driscoll, Bruskas also spoke on what the effects of lacking a father figure can have in men as they enter adulthood.
"I see the same things over and over…many young men, even if they had a dad that wasn't a Christian but was a provider for the home, they've missed that affectionate fatherly relationship. A lot of times, where I see shortcomings manifest are in the three big categories of money, sex, and power," said Bruskas.