This week we celebrate Father’s Day. It coincides with Ascension Day, the day Christ returned to His Father. My first experience with Father’s Day in Germany came five years ago on a short-term trip to Berlin. In fact, it was one of the things about that trip that I could not shake from my memory. It seems pretty simple to think that Father’s Day should be a day to celebrate the role of the father within a family, but part of becoming a progressive society presents opportunities to throw off traditional roles. Instead, Father’s Day in Germany is an opportunity for men to drink the day away and celebrate their freedom from this traditional role. Society has neutered the father and relinquished him of his role of leading and guiding.
But this is not the way God intended it to be. In fact, God designed the role of the Father to mimic His very nature. He speaks of this nature in the book of James.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."
- James 1:17
Men, our families need us to lead. They need us to reflect the glory of our Father to them. He has endowed us with special gifts to be steady and calm through the ups and downs of life. To seek after Him by endowing good gifts that speak of the character of God. The greatest gift we could give those in our care is to teach them how to seek the Father. We are to be a picture of the perfect Father, the One who generously gives good gifts to his children. Jesus Himself gives us a picture of this. He says:
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask."
- Matthew 7:7-11
When we choose to please ourselves, we are giving our families stones, instead of bread. When we shirk our responsibilities and care for ourselves, we are offering them serpents, instead of fish. We must feed our families good things. These things always seek to bring God glory. If we want to seek God and be good fathers, then we will be vigilant to the things that come into our homes and in how we relate to our world. We will be motivated by love like the Father. He gave much to make us sons and daughters.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
- John 3:16
So, we recognize this great cost gave up His only Son, so that He could become the Father of many. This motivates us not to shirk our responsibilities, but to shepherd hearts. We consistently point those in our care to the One who gives good gifts. This means that we discipline ourselves to walk in patience, kindness, gentleness and humility. We reflect these good gifts that flow directly from the Father Himself. Contrary to the opinions of our world, this is not subjecting others with the strength that God has imparted us for our own gain, but to willingly give ourselves up for those who are weaker. We follow the example of the Perfect Son, Jesus:
"Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death of a cross."
- Philippians 2:6-8
True Fatherhood is recognizing the character of the Father and taking on the mind of Christ to mimic our heavenly Father. It is indicative of all men who know the Father. It is daily emptying oneself and willingly serving others for the purpose of bringing Him honor. Our greatest strength as men is made perfect when we humble ourselves and become obedient to His will for the purpose of being a man that willingly steps into his role of reflecting the Father of Lights. Men are meant to reflect the Father’s glory by throwing off the nature of the old man (Adam), so that we can take on the nature of Christ and encourage others to do the same.
The rising tide tells us that male leadership is not needed, that passivity gives rise to a better post-modern society. But this is where everything went wrong in the first place, Adam failed to accept his role and his passivity plunged our world into chaos. This is what the enemy wants, fatherless nations and a world that rebels against the Father’s plan. We will continue to see families and relationships disintegrate unless we are motivated to action. We cannot fulfill God’s purpose for our lives if we are not willing to step into the roles, He has designed for us. May we be nations of men who lead our families, whether they be physical or spiritual, by following the example of Christ to bring glory to the Father.
Blog by Chad Gfeller of CrossWay International Baptist Church.
Published on 20. May 2020 from Berlin, Germany.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.