Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Devotion 6.22.16

Here is the trend I've noticed over a lifetime.  Mother's Day - we see moms in church being honored on their special day.  Corsages or flowers.  All dressed up.  Families coming to visit or visiting from another church they attend in town to be with mom.  Father's Day - crickets chirping in the sanctuary.

This past Sunday we used the occasion to focus on the importance of fatherhood, and moving a bit beyond the custom of this forum, a daily devotion mostly, let's not underestimate that importance.  On Sunday, we reviewed popular culture with pictures from prominent television shows decade by decade.  The point being made that you start with "Father Knows Best" in the 1950s and finish with "The Simpsons."  From a key central figure in the family to a doofus (a person who exhibits stupidity and shallowness.)  From a provider to a someone who is almost parasitic. 

Does art imitate life or does life imitate art?  Art can be a reflection of the current view of the world, and in this case, as men, we need to be on guard.  The world view of a man has changed dramatically, and while I'm not saying it is a concerted effort with a playbook written by a single person, it does have the effect of being a concerted effort by various segments of society to change the view of a man with regard to his role in society, the workplace, and in the family.

We also looked at statistics from 1960 to 2013 of the dissolution of the two-parent married with children, one marriage only, from 73% in 1960 to 46% in 2013 (Pew Research).  We saw the rise of single-parent households from 9% in 1960 to 34% in 2013, and we saw the dramatic impact the absence of a father can have on a child in terms of education (secular).  Spiritually, the statistics of an absent father on faith may even be more dramatic as the evidence is strong about a child not remaining in the faith into adulthood without a father.

That said, we love our moms but don't take away from or underestimate the impact of a father not present and engaged on the family.  Our culture seeks equality, and to that end great gains have been made by women overall, but don't allow that to cloud the truth as presented in scripture.  Dad's, we are important and necessary in our children's lives and the in the lives of children who may have no fathers.  Our children deserve the role-models necessary to help the next generation achieve, and in many ways, we have a God-given role in the faith development of children, dad or no dad.

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)

"We have earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. (Hebrews 12:9)

Take time today to review scripture if you have a concordance or by finding an app and looking at the word "fathers" to see the number of references with regard to a father's role in his children's lives.

We love our moms.  Along with God, they gave us life, but we have an extremely important role as men in the lives of children, specifically as fathers.  Pray we never lose sight of that.

Hope Men's Ministry

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