I’ve been formulating my own little list of the tasks or missions that are attached with the mantle “Father”. I’ve been tweeting them for the past week and so I thought I’d elaborate on my weeks’ tweets and then add them to a page on the site which I will call The purpose of a Father, so here we go.
Fathering is hard, for us anyway, and the job description exhaustive. I only need to look at my week and I come up with the following job titles that I held:
- Guidance counsellor
- Personal trainer etc
The list seems to never end, but then again neither does the joy I feel when my son looks at me and asks for a hug, a few minutes of my time to read him a book or to play cars with him. This past week I looked at 7 purposes which for me are real necessities in my life as a Dad. The 7 purposes from this week were:
- To validate masculinity and manhood.
- To instill a sense of value.
- To build up.
- To create boundaries within which his children have enough freedom to explore, but also enough safety so that the consequences are learning experiences and not death sentences.
- To provide emotionally, educationally and financially.
- To be the first to praise and the last to criticise.
- To be a gate-keeper.
Lets look at some of these that I find need more focus today.
To validate masculinity and manhood
Lets face it, todays boys are finding it harder and harder to grasp with both hands the concept of what it means to be a man. Whether you blame the media, schools, families, society, government or an ever-increasing anti ‘Man’ movement, the fact remains that young people are not sure what a man is nor are they sure when they pass from boyhood into manhood. In many past cultures it was easy, there’d be a ceremony or a right of passage celebration, but not today!
As Fathers, we need to take a lead role in solving this challenge, let’s be blunt! MEN RAISE MEN! With all due respect to the many great men who were raised in single parent homes, this was not the plan from the outset. Right from the get go, biblically, there was a time when boys were with their mom’s but at a certain point in their young lives, they began shadowing their Fathers. Why? Sure it was to get to know their trade, but even more importantly, they followed men so they would become men! This is not to say Mom’s have not nor can never raise men of God, absolutely not, but I’m sure those Mom’s at some point all struggled with the question of what must they do as woman to create men of their boys, what tasks, what adventures, what advice etc.
So we as Fathers have an important role to play when it comes to instilling in our sons what it means to be men, and we also have the lead role to play in edifying them and encouraging their masculinity, so that there is no shadow of a doubt in their minds that they are men and when they pass from boy to man.
To instill a sense of value
It continues to amaze that so many of the challenges that face young men today, namely, absent fathers, indifferent fathers, lack of focus, lack of purpose, lack of character and integrity and subjective truths, were around 30 years ago. Boys today need to know how valuable they are, they need to know that Jesus gave it all for them, that their heavenly Father gave it all for them. This was not done because we deserved it, but because for some reason God places an enormous value in us little people.
One of the greatest fruits of our understanding of the Gospel is that we will realise our value, and because we have such value we cannot simply go around doing as we please, we are accountable! Children need to be told by their fathers that they are incredibly valuable. For girls this solidifies in their hearts that they have great worth and that they mustn’t settle for less than what their value requires. They must know they are royalty, princesses, daughters of the most high God, and for boys this solidifies a sense that there is a great purpose for their lives, a race to run, an adventure to discover and a battle to win! They are warrior prince’s who will go into the world and conqour it!
Value allows us to dream, it allows us to reach beyond our self-imposed limitations. When children know their value they will run their race, with passion, with purpose and with a desire to succeed. When we devalue or show little value in our children, we are sending out a message that they need not try, that they probably won’t succeed and so shouldn’t even try. When we do this, we kill dreams and we destroy futures and erase our legacy as Fathers.
To be gate keepers
The sad truth today is that much of the rubbish that is allowed to live and breed in our homes was at the very least allowed to enter and at the most brought into the home, by fathers. By this I mean things such as pornography, incorrect biblical teachings, inappropriate relationships and also spiritual attacks.
Other than God, my prayer life and His angels, I am the first line of defence to my family and my home .Whether it be guarding against content on the TV or computer or physically standing in the door way and preventing people from coming into your home, we as Fathers are charged with the responsibility and anointed with the authority to decide what comes in and what must leave. We need to be educated and well versed in the latest technology. The Devil in years to come will not be bringing attacks to your doorstep that are obviously from him, they will be subtle, quiet, seemingly harmless and possibly disguised as something good.
Lets never forget, we as men, were born to fight, we were born and created to go into battle, to fight and to win. Lets never become complacent, lazy and unfocused. We are standing in the gap for our families, a creation that God ordained as they most powerful spiritual force, the most effective ministry tool and greatest place for love to flourish and children of God to be raised.
The family is under attack! We need only look at divorce rates, the decrease in communication in homes, the state of marriages, the statistics on teen pregnancies, drug abuse and broken homes. But the good news is that there is nothing stronger than a man on a mission to protect his family.
Let us take up arms and go to war against all that seek to harm our families. God is with us and so there is nothing that can be against us.