Before I begin, let me say that I understand that for reasons of illness, death, desertion or divorce there cannot be a father in some homes.
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These situations are beyond the control of the mother. I do not want to discourage single mothers, but I do want to help men see their importance, not only in the home, but in the culture at large. Tonight, nearly half of American children will go to sleep in a fatherless home, yet the need for fathers is great. Fathers are important. They are important because children without a father are almost twice as likely to drop out of high school. Seven out of 10 juveniles in long-term correctional facilities did not have a father while growing up. Most of those in gangs will have never known their father.
Fatherless children will be more likely to use illicit drugs and abuse alcohol. This is not to say that a single mother cannot raise good and healthy children, but it takes a great deal more effort. Almost all of the scientific, sociological studies being done confirm the fact that children brought up in a home with a father have a distinct advantage.
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They are healthier and happier than the average. And when that father takes his role seriously the figures are even more dramatic, especially for those homes where the father is a godly man with spiritual maturity. I want to talk to fathers today and encourage you to continue to grow to a place of spiritual maturity in your spiritual life in order to make a definite impact on your children, family, and ultimately your world. The first thing I would ask of you men who are here today is: Take seriously your position of leadership in your home.
For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. This is a very dangerous scripture to quote in many places, but listen to what these verses are really saying. Husbands are to be the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.
I Will Follow God’s Plan for Me
How is Christ the head of the church? Christ exercised servant leadership. In fact, it cost him his life. In the past men have taken this passage to mean that they are to be the boss, no questions asked, with no responsibilities.
Prioritizing My Life According to God's Plan (For Husbands & Fathers)
They were to give the orders and the wife was to obey. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. That is the kind of leadership Jesus exercised — he laid down his life for those who were in his spiritual family. I think most women would welcome that kind of leadership — leadership that was sacrificial and thought of others before self. Only the silly and immature believe that this means the man always gets his way and does not answer to anyone.
Biblical leadership means that you give yourself to your wife and children as Christ gave himself for his body, the church. He gave up his prerogatives in order to come and serve his people. He was willing to suffer and sacrifice.
God's Plan for the Home
He placed the good of his people before what may have been easiest and best for him. His desire is for all fathers to reflect aspects of His character, an earthly mirror of a heavenly reality. Matthew —11 illustrates this quite clearly.
In this passage, Jesus is speaking to a group that must have included many fathers. Note what He says:. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!
In fact, if this were not the case, the entire analogy Jesus used loses its meaning. You see, I believe good fathers are an example of common grace, like the life-giving rain which falls on the righteous and the wicked alike Matthew But there is more. For example, consider the comparison of bread to a stone. Especially to a small child, a piece of bread and a small stone may look the same and feel the same. But they are not the same. A stone, especially in the time of Christ, could be a tool of destruction and death.
Remember, stones were used to martyr Stephen. Now consider the symbolism in the comparison of a fish to a serpent. The fish is a key symbol of the Christian faith.
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