In today’s society, are fathers really necessary?
Women are more capable than ever at balancing successful careers, raising children, and being the spiritual leaders of their families—whether they want to or not.
But many feel that the roles of fatherhood are inflated in their importance. In fact, one women’s advocate commented to me personally that, except for the obvious need for men in creating children, they are only in the way the rest of the time. GOD does not agree.
The idea of fatherhood is a difficult question for some. Not for those of us who were blessed with wonderful fathers, but certainly for those who’s dads were absent or abusive—or both. But regardless of our personal experiences growing up, it’s still an important question as we become adults.
Scripture places enormous weight on the role of fathers. It can be overwhelming at times, especially if you are one. As dads, we are to set the standard in our families for how we respond to crises, what we do when we lose our jobs, if we really follow Christ, when we go to church, if we go to church, and why we go to church.
Our families want to see us in action, not sitting in a corner wringing our hands and mumbling, although there are times when that might seem easier. Action may take place in how we respond to a problem, for example, but that’s not where our responsibilities end.
If we are properly doing our jobs as fathers, our wives and children see us as proactive men who are not waiting to react to a situation, but instead, are formulating plans to move our families into the center of God’s will.
What does that mean? It means we have a presence in our children’s lives–not to be Superdads, but we may have to forego some other things that demand our attention.
As leaders, we point our families in the right direction, make decisions that affect everyone, properly manage the money God has entrusted to us as stewards and, perhaps most importantly, we love our children’s mother. I say, most importantly because when we love their mother as we’re supposed to, everything else falls into place. For further reading on this, see THE STANDARD OF LOVE.
Studies indicate that when fathers spend time with their children regularly and have a presence in their lives, it prevents many behavior problems we see in society.
Statistically, when children have a healthy relationship with their fathers, fewer join gangs, misbehavior in school becomes rarer, and they have a much higher self-esteem and level of self-confidence. They enter adulthood as capable, spiritually strong individuals who can think for themselves and know how to handle whatever comes their way.
We must not lose sight of a very important analogy. Man’s relationship with his wife is a direct reflection of Christ’s relationship with his bride, the Church. That being the case, marriage is to be the most forgiving and enriching of all relationships.
In addition to the marriage reflection, fathers are also to be a reflection of God the Father to their children. But before we panic, men, don’t worry–our kids know there is a difference between God and us.
Although being a father has its challenges, the rewards are incredible. There is no substitute for a being a good father, there is nothing more rewarding, and there is nothing more important.
Are fathers necessary? According to God—they are.