Fatherhood in America is in crisis, yet this Sunday, dads get a token holiday, with the annual hall pass to kick back on their throne of choice and receive gifts, cards, and a few bad ties. But if we step back, and look at the bigger, if not the biggest picture to gain God's vision for fatherhood, we might turn Father's Day on its ear and seek to bless our children, instead of receive blessings.
Today, virtually every societal problem, social injustice and behavioral abnormality can be traced back to absent, delinquent, misbehaving, drunk, or sexually immoral dads who didn't respect or understand their enormous calling.
Consider these statistics from the Girl Scouts Research Institute:
- 90% of all women want to change at least one aspect of their appearance, and only 2 percent of women think they are beautiful.
- 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.
- A girl is being bullied every 7 minutes.
- Every 15 seconds a woman is battered.
- 50% of music videos portray women as sex objects, victims, or in a condescending way.
- 1 of 4 college women has an eating disorder.
- 1 out of 3 girls between the ages of 16-18, say sex is expected for them at their age if they are in a relationship.
Girls often find themselves mistreated, miscast, misused, and undervalued. What they need is guidance, esteem, honor and worth that only a father can give. Same goes for boys. They just have a different set of statistics.
How does this happen? Who makes women, and of course men, secure in their mind, body and soul?
The fact is men are appointed by God to make our children secure. God's highest calling for man is to be a husband or father. Here's how we know it for a fact: God, chose to represent himself as our father. When Jesus taught us to pray, the first words are "Our father who art in heaven…"
If we don't relate to God as our father, then we don't have him in our lives, we lack confidence, feel insecure, there's no one to tell us we're worthy, no one to reinforce our gifts, to be a source of love, to be our rock, and there's no model for us to follow.
But if we do relate to God as our father, then earthly dads have the ultimate model to follow. What could be our highest calling other than imitating our heavenly father?
The Bible says God is our Father who is almighty and everlasting, a refuge, a shepherd. He is strong, ever present, His love is everlasting. He is our rock. He is our source of love, our emotional anchor, provider, nurturer and director. These are all great qualities of a dad.
Dads need to listen to David who wrote in Psalms:
"You (God) are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees." -- Psalms 119:68
Dads need to tap into God's fatherhood, and esteem their children with the kingdom view of their identity, as written in Romans:
"The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." -- Romans 8:15-16
Dad's need to step up and treat their children like God treats us, like this:
"I myself said, "'How gladly would I treat you like my children and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.' I thought you would call me 'Father and not turn away from following me." -- Jeremiah 3:19
Maybe this Father's Day, dads should take a page from Jacob, and bless their children instead of receive blessings. Serve instead of being served. Love and be loved. Dads have the highest calling, so Every Man Ministries suggests taking this holiday to honor your children, and be honored in a humble manner. One way is to read them a blessing.
Find a few examples by clicking the links below... and happy Father's Day.
Kenny Luck is the founder of Every Man Ministries and former men's pastor at Saddleback Church for 25 years. His 20th book – SLEEPING GIANT: No Movement of God without Men of God - is a blueprint for men's ministries, and was released through B&H Publishing. Watch and read more of Kenny's teaching here at EveryManMinistries.com. EXPLORE: "Media Vault" for related resources. Follow Every Man Ministries now on Facebook, Twitter (@everymm,) and YouTube.