by Jay Younts
Fathers are in the instruction business–the business of instructing their children to live obediently for the glory of God. Our culture has come to scoff at and even disdain this notion. Parents, and fathers in particular, are seen more as caregivers than as leaders charged with the responsibility of building lives.
Words like leadership and accountability don’t sit well in today’s politically correct world. In this world everything must be done for the child in order to serve the child. According to this view, parents must provide care for their children while being careful not to contaminate their minds with stuff about authority and religion.
If fathers are relegated to the role of caregiver, then someone else has to be responsible to teach children how to think about their world. Sound far-fetched? It has already happened. The state has taken upon itself the authority to redefine the institution of marriage.
Thankfully, God’s command regarding the role of fathers has not changed. God has charged fathers with the responsibility to raise their children in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Mothers and fathers are not primarily caregivers. They are the holy representatives of the God of Creation to their children. The father’s authority is not authority that has been given to him by the state. The father’s authority is mandated by God and derived from God.
Churches must rise again to actively promote the role of the father as the leader of the family. Husbands and wives form the distinct union of being one-flesh. Fathers function in that union to embrace the responsibility of instructing their children about the world. The gospel is the central component of this instruction. Presenting the gospel requires that the reality of sin must be clearly incorporated into daily instruction. This means that the reality of a Savior to whom all men must turn to escape punishment must also be a daily part of a child’s instruction.
This Father’s Day, the biblical role of father matters more than it ever has in America and the rest of the world. Fathers have been given the task of overseeing that their children are raised in the ways of God. Parents must not be relegated to the role of caregivers while others indoctrinate children in the belief system of the redefined family.
For the church to be salt and light we must reclaim the role of the father as the leader of his family. Fathers, commit yourselves to lead your family. Instruct your children to know and love God, to understand the world as the Bible explains it, and to honor their heavenly Father. Teach your children to live for the glory of God and the gospel!