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2 Principles That Make Better Fathers

The being that most closely resembles God in both form and function is the father in each family. When God created mankind, He wanted one to represent Himself in every family unit. He created families to have a father. As you read this today, may we hear the cries of 24 million children in our nation who are currently growing up in a home without their father. Here are just a few stats from the fatherless epidemic we are experiencing in the states:

  • 43% of US children live without their father
  • 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
  • 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father.
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
  • 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
  • 90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live with only their mother.
  • 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
  • 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions have no father.
  • 85% of youths in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.

 

Alarming. But what about those who do have a father in the home? We spend time talking about the children who don’t (as we should) but what about those who have physically present fathers that are emotionally absent? What about the passive fathers?

I recently heard about a couple that was out celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, and both the man and wife were 60 years old. Suddenly an angel appeared and said, “What would you like for your anniversary?” The wife immediately answered, “I’ve never traveled much in my life.” The angel flashed a sword and in her hands were two tickets for a world cruise. It was now the man’s turn. He took the angel aside and said, “You know I’d really like to be married to someone 30 years younger than I am.” Immediately the angel flashed his sword and suddenly the man was 90 years old!

As I think about that joke, I often ponder this question.  What was the original sin? Was it the disobedience of Eve or the passivity of Adam? A wife who gave into temptation or a husband/father who was meant to protect his wife but failed miserably?

I share today about 2 simple principles in Scripture that you can do personally to make your father a better father. If you are a wife, you can practice these as well to make your husband a better father.

1)  The Principle of Honoring.

Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. 2 And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! 3 Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him. 4 But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” 5 Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. – Mark 6:1-5 NKJV

This passage shocks me. The Son of God limited by dishonor. He is in a place where they are not honoring Him and as a result, He cannot do much. This is the Creator of the world. I’ve learned there are 2 things that cause dishonor: familiarity and offenses. Familiarity comes from the word family. Those who are our own relatives. Offenses: if you are offended at someone, you will never honor them. The offense has to be cleaned up first. If dishonor hindered Jesus from doing mighty works, is it possible dishonor is hindering a man in your life from doing mighty works?

Writing as a husband and a father, I gotta’ say, we as men, are often confused. We really are. We don’t know what our wives really want. Some time ago my wife told me that she didn’t tell me her problems so that I could solve them. “Well why did you tell me?” I responded. “I just want you to listen to me. Just listen.” Then 5 minutes later, she told me, “Talk to me. Why don’t you talk to me?” “Babe, I thought you wanted me to listen!” We really don’t know. Honestly. Some of the time, we think you do it on purpose though. A man will be all dressed up just about to walk out the door, and the woman will say, “Are you going to wear that?” “No,” he responds, “I was just going out to get the mail and then come back in and change.” I mean I’ve never had a man say that to me. I’ve never gotten up at 4am before, got my hunting clothes on, went outside and jumped in the truck with another man and he say, “You going to wear that? Gosh Craig, it’s after Labor Day!”

Honor is the #1 need of a man. I know what you are thinking. No, Craig there is something else that is his #1 need. Not according to surveys. I am not sure why God did this, but just so you know, let me tell you. When women have taken these same surveys, they list sex as a #13 need. Ah, not so bad, except for the fact that gardening is at #12.

Notice this scripture.

“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:2-3 NKJV

The promise is not only that you live long, but that it might be well with you. There are many people that things are not going well for them because they simply do not honor their parents. Here is a crazy truth. You can honor your father and it actually changes what happens in your life.

2.)  The Principle of Receiving

“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. – Matthew 10:40-41 NKJV

Jesus is talking about receiving, and He says you receive a prophet and you get a prophet’s reward. If you receive me, Jesus says, you will receive the Father. Ok Craig, but how do I receive my father? How do I actually receive my husband? How do you actually do that?

When you receive a person in your life as God’s perfect gift to you (they’re not perfect), you actually release that person to be all God intended him to be in your life. But until you receive him, he can’t be all God intended him to be. The perfect example of this is Jesus Christ.

“But as many as received him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name.” – John 1:12 NKJV

Jesus has all the power to save and to set free and yet none of that helps you until you receive Him. He cannot be all God intended Him to be in your life until you receive Him. But when you receive Him as God’s perfect gift to you, you release Him to be all God intended Him to be for you. That’s the problem with His hometown. Because they did not receive Him as God’s Son, He wasn’t able to be God’s Son to them.

When you receive your spouse or father as God’s perfect gift to you, everything changes in your marriage and family.