It is interesting to note the “deer culture” in which we reside. Our resident herd of white tail has thus far provided three fawns for our viewing pleasure (with several does yet to give birth). Each evening around 8:30-9:00 p.m. the does bring them out for us to see as they meander out to spend some time in our hay and alfalfa field. But, conspicuous by their absence are the dads (the bucks). Oh, they show up in the fall to chase the does around but then they pretty much disappear to live their own lives while the does raise the fawns by themselves without any support or help.
Our honey bees (some 24 hives) have a similar “culture.” The worker or forager bees, the entry guards, the nursing bees, and of course the queen who lays the eggs, are all females. The males, the drones, hang out in the hive–even being fed by the females–just in case they need to fertilize a new queen. In fact, come fall, they leave the hive and die. Again, the female bees do all the work.
Now, before I get some angry replies from you ladies, I am surely not advocating that the human culture should follow suit! God set up some very specific guidelines for the family. Although our current society is trying to redefine “family,” according to the Bible, which is our final standard for faith and practice (our plumbline), a “family” is a father, mother, children, and grandchildren (Gen. 18:19; Dt. 4:9; 6:2). God began the human race with a man and a woman (husband and wife) and told them to have children (Gen. 1:27,28). When the world became filled with wickedness, He saved one family and told them again to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 6:18; 9:7). When men once more rebelled against Him, He led one family–Abraham’s–out to “live in tents” in order to preserve them (Gen. 12:1-3; Heb. 11:9). Later, the promised land was taken by families (Nu. 33:54). When God came to Earth, He was born into a family, and was even submissive to His earthly parents (Lk. 3:51)!
In the family, which God established as the basic unit of society, He created a structure of order and responsibilities which are delineated throughout the Bible. Guess who he made responsible as the head of the home and for the instruction of the children? The fathers. “For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a new law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know even the children yet to be born, that they may rise up and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments” (Ps. 78:5-7). In Paul’s letters to the believers at Ephesus and in Colossae, the Apostle Paul outlined the roles and responsibilities of each member of the family: “Wives be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord…husbands ought to love their own wives…as Christ does the church…Children obey your parents…honor your father and mother…and fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 5:22…6:4).
The family is obviously central in God’s purpose and plan for mankind. It also follows that God’s enemy, Satan, has done–and is doing–all he can to disrupt the family unit so that children are no longer reared in a loving home by a mom and dad who help them come to know Christ and teach them the principles of God’s Word which they in turn can pass on to their children. Today, even to mention that marriage is to be of one man and one woman and family is father and mother and children, can get you in trouble for being “intolerant” of those who advocate an “alternate lifestyle.” Some are losing their jobs over being “biblical.” Wow, how far we have fallen. May God have mercy on our nation.
As a result of Satan’s work and our listening to his lies (Jn. 8:44), our family structures are in a mess. A high percentage of children are being reared by single moms without the influence of a godly father, or of a father figure at all. Since “A child identifies his parents with God, whether the adults want that role or not, most children ‘see’ God the way they perceive their earthly fathers” (James Dobson). It is no wonder that we have a generation of young people and young adults who have a flawed view of who God is. Many grew up, or are growing up, without a dad, or with a passive father who is not a leader in the home. We are reaping the by-product of “father-less families.” That may work in the “deer culture” and the “honey bee culture,” but not in the human culture. When God created man, He provided a wife for him as a suitable helper and enabled them to reproduce and have children to instruct and nurture, with both father and mother playing an important, and essential role. Unfortunately, “The rate of failure in fatherhood is actually higher than in any other occupation” (George Sweeting).
Even Sigmund Freud acknowledged the importance of the role of dads in the home. He said, “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” A company held a contest for children with the theme: “The Nicest Thing My Father Ever Did for Me.” One child answered: “He married my mother.”
William Shakespeare too acknowledged the role of dads, saying: “It is a wise father who knows his own child.”
There’s a good reason that we have set aside special days to honor moms and dads. They play a key role in the well-being of any society. I pray that dads will take their jobs seriously and lean hard on their “Heavenly Father” to become the earthly father they need to be. Dads, we desperately need your godly leadership.