Ephesians 6:1-3 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Gone are the days that fathers are held in high esteem by our society.  In the past fatherhood was viewed with honor and respect.  Today our media has gone to great lengths to depict fathers as bumbling idiots that constantly must be rescued from themselves.  If your view of fathers is based on how they are portrayed in the media, you may well be convinced that the family and the world would be better off without them, but you would be wrong.  We know from statistics that many of the social maladies that our world suffers from, are much worse in homes without a father.  There are higher instances of crimes like drug abuse and rape in homes where the father is absent.  Suicide, imprisonment, premarital birth and poverty all occur at a much higher rate in fatherless homes. I know that many have grown up in homes with unloving and abusive fathers, and I’m not trying to downplay your hurt and disappointment.  I will be the first to admit that there are no perfect fathers, which by the way is the same number of perfect wives and children. With that said, when we look at the state of the American home today, It becomes very apparent that a fathers place is in the home.

So, what can we do to help put fathers in their place?

Pray for them

God intended men to be the spiritual covering for their families, and because of that they become a prime target for the attacks of the Devil. Criticizing and condemning will do nothing to combat the attacks of Satan on our families.  Pray that they become the men that God wants them to be, not who you want them to become.  Pray that God would grant them wisdom and courage to lead your family. Pray that God would protect them from the onslaught of the enemy.

Respect them

Leviticus 19:1-3 The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.  “‘Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God.

Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

God created men with a need for respect. Most men would choose being respected over being loved. We can give the gift of respect even under difficult circumstances. We can treat people with respect even if we don’t respect what they are doing.

1 Peter 2:18  Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

Be patient with them

Ephesians 4:2-3 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Impatience only produces hopelessness and resentment. Rather than focusing on your unmet expectations choose to look for opportunities to acknowledge their value to your family.  Make a point to acknowledge their contribution to the family.

If we undergird fathers with our prayers, honor them with our respect and encourage them with our patience, we can help put fathers in their place.

 

Lee Ponder

Campus Pastor, Farmington

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