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A Call for Fathers to Spiritual Arms



One of the greatest pandemic in our times is fatherlessness. Fathers may be physically present, but in many cases fathers are absent socio-emotionally and spiritually. This fact bears out just in my experience alone as the headmaster. Majority of the visitors and prospective families have the mother sit in front of me with all the questions, while the father sits in the back, mostly silent. This is an indication that fathers are not leading the education of their children.  I’m not saying this to discourage our fathers. On a positive note, I do see many fathers in our Veritas community taking up the challenge of the high calling of fatherhood.

 

But my point here is to state the glaring, obvious problem—the “elephant in the room.” Doing the hard work of classical Christian education, a holistic, biblical approach to education, sometimes feel like, to exaggerate a bit, rearranging the chairs on a sinking Titanic ship. That’s how I feel without the involvement of parents, but more specifically, without the involvement of fathers. And I’m not talking about “involvement” at school. I’m talking about involvement in the lives of their children. And lest anyone wonders what kind of father I am to be able to be point these things out, I am including myself in the problem.

 

But over the years, I have come to learn, both the weight of being a father, and the weight of the glory of being a father, both the pitfalls and the promises of being a father. I want to share a bit of both.

   

On the weight of being a father, there is no escape. Many young men get married and have very little idea what it means to be a father. I’m not talking about just the physical and financial challenges. I’m talking about spiritual leadership.  Statistics show that children’s relationship with their parents, particularly their fathers, impact their lives in a significant way. For example, according to a Barna study, Christian dads who report a positive father-son relationship while growing up are more likely to be very satisfied (53%) with their own relationship with their child, compared with those whose father-son relationship was not positive (42%). Bottom line, it’s a little scary: children take after their parents, first and foremost in their relationship with God, and then their socio-emotional well-being.

 

The root of this problem is, well, SIN. When Adam disobeyed God, God asked why he ate the fruit, and his response is to blame it on the woman and to God who gave him the woman. Men tend to easily focus on themselves and shrink inwardly. The result is always the same. They drag down many others with them, whether they do it intentionally or not. So, there is no escape. We either run away and face the consequences, or we face God and feel the weight of his glory.

 

And praise the Lord because the solution to this greatest problem of our times is ultimately not in the efforts of the father. It is in submitting to God. Yes, fathers have to change. But the change does not come from countless efforts. It comes from submission. I always encourage fathers with Psalm 128. The first verse promises: “Blessed is everyone [fathers] who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways!” The second verse says, “You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.” That translates to = everything will go well. And then the promises goes on: “Your wife will be like a fruitful vine,” and “your children will be like olive shoots around your table,” and “may your see the prosperity of Jerusalem.” In other words, your family will do well, and you will bring prosperity to the entire community or society you are part of. 

 

But it all starts with fathers who will fear the Lord and walk in his ways. That sounds impossible, but in a sense it is simple.  It's letting God dictate everything, including what it means to be a father. Fear God and submit to him. And then you will begin to experience the “weight of the glory of God.” And the glory of fatherhood is a part of that. When we enter the "halls of great fathers" in heaven, I'm sure there will be no perfect fathers, no one who can boast about how much they did for their children, but fathers with battle scars of struggling with God and submitting to him. A great fatherhood is about fearing God and walking with Him, first and foremost.     

 

Fathers, please sign up for the Saturday morning fellowship / book study on fatherhood. I would love to grow as a father with you. Once we have a few people, we will decide on our first meeting.


Father's Fellowship signup: click here

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