Father’s Day Advice

Christian Information Network

Father’s Day is for fathers-real fathers. Not the kind that Bart Simpson, Al Bundy, and a host of other figures in the media and pop culture enjoy deriding. They would have us believe that all fathers are spineless wimps and indecisive morons.

But fatherhood, a position mandated by God and a precious gift from God, is too important a position to be ridiculed and mocked. Fathers are vital to the family, but in order to be taken seriously, the following points must be kept in mind:

*Authority is earned. It’s easy to think yelling and fuming will gain you the authority a father deserves. But Jesus knew what he was talking about when he said, “I came not to be served, but to serve.” Real leadership comes from the leader who sacrifices himself for the needs of those he leads. As soon as a father starts using his intelligence, his time, his energy, and his manliness in the service of the family, his authority is genuine and accepted. It means self-sacrifice in battling for the family, but it also means authority that has been earned.

*Manhood is a gift from God. Manhood, as a gift is to be treasured exalted, admired, respected, and accepted as the wonderful gift it is. A man should say, “I’ve been given this by God. Now it’s my duty to use this as God would have me use it.” There are three ways to express manhood: Be macho and exploit others for your own gain; be a wimp and opt out of your masculinity; or be a servant leader-a Christian man-a man who serves others and avoids the macho and wimp roles.

Jesus is the ultimate example. Jesus’ Middle East stomping grounds were rugged, mountainous areas. It took a tough man to do as much trekking around as he did. And when Jesus was on earth, he had more authority than E.F. Hutton ever will; when Jesus spoke people really listened. Jesus led his disciples and stood up to harassment threats, arrest, beatings, and death. At the same time, Jesus was tender, treated all with compassion, and often turned the other cheek. Jesus was a man’s man.

With Father’s Day here, maybe it’s time for every dad to make a renewed commitment to masculinity and fatherhood. And for those who “have their act together,” be on the lookout for someone who wasn’t able to grow up with a positive male role model. Good men will make good men.

(The above material appeared in a Summer, 1990 issue of Equipping the Saints.)

Christian Information Network