– by Jim Zeigler
Hey, Dad where are we going?
That was usually the question asked by my young daughter as she climbed onto the center armrest of our front seat. Sometimes we went to the store for milk, and candy, sometimes to grandma's house, or even the auto store. It didn't matter where I was going, so long as she could go with Daddy. Children love to follow their fathers. Their little eyes are so trusting of their parents. And their hearts are so believing. Wherever Daddy goes must be all right.
On another occasion, at one of the theme parks, she wanted to ride the big roller coaster. She just made the height limit. When we had finished the ride and exited, her grandmother asked her "Weren't you scared?" "No, I was with Daddy" was her reply. Children naturally look to their parents and particularly to their dad as a source of protection.
Children can no longer ride on the center armrests beside their parents, and fatherhood is no longer the most respected position in society. Unfortunately, today we live in a society where fathers are constantly put down and shown in the media, television, and movies as incompetent buffoons. Today's theme is 'Mother Knows Best.' We live in a culture that has destroyed the place of fatherhood and in so doing, also destroyed the family and the nation.
Unfortunately, fathers have, for the most part, gone along with this trend. It's much easier to let someone else do all the work of raising their kids. Men have abdicated their responsibility and turned it over to government and police, or thrust it upon their mates. Fatherhood is more than just making babies. Fatherhood is building the next generation.
God sees things differently.
"for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments." Deut. 5:9-10
I find it interesting that God says the sins of the father will be suffered by their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even their great-great-grandchildren. God does not say the sins of the mother, the grandmother, sisters or brothers, but the fathers. Fatherhood is a great responsibility. God made the man to be the leader of the home. The direction children will take, is dependent on the direction shown to them by the father.
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
God designed the family to display His love for the church. Christ is the head of the church and loved it so much that He was willing to die for His beloved church. The church is subject to Christ in all matters and receives the love and blessings of Christ. Families should follow this same example.
Paul put it this way.
"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;" Eph. 5:21-25
Husbands are to love and protect their wives and families. Wives are to submit to the authority of their husbands, not as slaves, but as loving partners. Eve was not made from Adam's head, so she had rule over him, or from his foot, so he could tread upon her, but, from his side, so they could share a loving and working relationship
God's command for children.
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
A promise of long life is to all who obey their parents. We, as a society, have lost our respect for parents. Father has become 'the old man' and mother, 'the old lady.' Children must be taught respect. Many parents inadvertently teach a lack of respect in the way they talk about their own parents. Grandparents should be worthy of the honor their years and experiences accord them. My Dad was my best counselor until the day of his death.
It is so easy to provoke wrath. "Do it because I said so, or I will smack you a good one." The Bible says to admonish. That means to teach your children the things they need to know and do, to live within an orderly society. What children need most is time with their parents. Admonish them to do what will please God.
Dad, You are the leader.
Dad, God, made you the leader in your home. Are you leading your family in the path laid out in God's Word and toward the Savior, or are you leading them into worldly lusts and desires?
America has sown to the winds of lust, sexual perversion, materialism, ungodliness, and immorality. Now we have begun to reap the whirlwind of moral decline, family disintegration, crime and national spiritual death. Fathers must begin again to lead their families in the ways of righteousness, or the next generation will be doomed to a continuing decline until the nation collapses under the weight of its sin