Monday, June 20, 2011

Dad's as heroes

In honor of the recent Father's Day weekend, I thought I would write my last "hero" blog on Dads.

Dads, just like moms, are human and flawed, but they are essential to our lives. God, himself, the perfect father, sets the example - and it is a hard one to follow. God not only created the world, but sustains and upholds it. God doesn't just love those he created, he sacrificed himself for us. God doesn't just give us directives, but he guides us and allows us to make and learn from our own mistakes. All of these things are a model for our earthly fathers to follow and it is not easy.

On Mother's Day, kids and dads are often told to love and do nice things for the moms in their life. On Father's Day, though, dads are most often told how important their role is and that, in so many words, they need to "step it up". I am not saying that a dad's role is more important than a mom's - it is just different. It is true that biblically speaking, men hold a greater amount of responsibility than women - something that I know is not a popular idea in our modern world of gender equality. God did create all humans equal - male and female. Gender equality, however, doesn't mean role equality. In our modern society, we often scoff at the idea of the father as 'head of the household' but this is a very important position in the Christian life.

In the Christian model of marriage, the man takes on the same role for the family as Jesus does for the Church. That is nothing to sneeze at. The man is responsible for leading his household in a manner that reflects well upon a follower of Jesus. This doesn't mean the dad gets to subjugate his wife and children and be bossy - it actually means that the dad has to 1) be an incredible example of leadership, integrity and faithfulness, 2) nurture and love his family in a sacrificial way, and 3) be accountable for the family's general well-being.

That is a job description that I don't think many people would voluntarily sign-up for, but it is the role that God has given to the husbands and fathers of this world. Every man who takes these responsibilities seriously is a hero.

And now for the part about what the women and children in the lives of these dads should do for them: Those of us who are lucky enough to be married to men of faith who try to seriously fulfill the role that God has given to them should pray everyday to be a person who loves a supporting role. We should love, respect, and honor our husbands and fathers because of the simple fact that they are living their lives out as a sacrifice for us - to love, care, and nurture us. Just as we honor, love, and respect God, our perfect father, we should also work towards honoring, loving, and respecting our husbands and fathers. This doesn't mean that we never have our own opinions or disagree with them - human fathers are not infallible - but it does mean that they deserve our respect.

Love and honor the husbands and fathers in your life - they have a seriously tough job to do every day.


"Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged." -Colossians 3:18-21