The Father Day’s observance should be more than a general June Sunday celebration. Rather, it should also call us men who are a part of the church into specific spiritual account about the quality of fatherhood we live and typify. From God’s perspective, we should consider the question, “How am I doing in relationship with my wife, my children, and within the ranks of the church?”
The Apostle Paul wrote a very applicable verse of Scripture to the role that churchmen have, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all things you do be done with charity.” Vine’s explains that the word “quit you” is a call for courageous manliness at the time when mature leadership is needed. That exhortation is appropriate, for the time is now that we churchmen provide mature leadership within the contexts of our living environments.
In the next verse, Paul cites a word that is very interesting to me as given by the KJV. It is the term “addicted.” We certainly have a contemporary image of that term as it involves drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, or anything that controls or dominates the actions and attitudes of people.
But, for Paul, there is a type of addiction for churchmen that should be set or settled in arrangement and order, and devotion (W. E. Vines, “Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words”).
That being the necessary circumstance, what are some things for us churchmen to consider that calls us into account for exemplifying a better Fatherhood?
It certainly begins with having a vital relationship with our Heavenly Father. Such a relationship is predicated on having received Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. Beyond that critical decision and commitment, the issue of growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord is a must. What are you and I doing to cultivate that condition in our lives? The answers are easy to acknowledge, but we must put into practice what we know in order to set or settle ourselves in the Fatherhood order into which the Lord has called us to be devoted. Within the ranks of the church, it becomes a dynamic necessity for the men to exhibit a dynamic and settled relationship with God. Can we do better?
It continues as it involves fellowship with our wives. There was a day in which we felt compelled to marry our wives. We loved them. We felt good about them. They looked so very good to us. There was a strong sense of oneness with them.
But, in due course, that initial fellowship waned for a variety of reasons, mainly, perhaps, because we have become less attentive to them. Perhaps, it is because we have left them lonely. Has it occurred to you that God set marital and family relationships to off set the issue of loneliness? Read Genesis 2, for example.
Regardless, it falls on our shoulders to keep the fellowship fresh with our wives. That stipulation is found in the profound exhortation, “Husbands, love your wives.” And, we are supposed to love our wives “…even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” Now, if that does not spell out a grave responsibility given to us churchmen in particular, I do not know what does.
And, to deepen the concern, “so ought men to love their wives as their own body.” This is followed with the responsibility to “cherish” our wives, which means that we are supposed to “esteem them as a PRIORITY.” We may try to place the blame of diminished marital fellowship on the wife, others, or other factors. But, the truth be known from Scripture, it is a man’s foremost responsibility to keep that wife prioritized in all that we do. Perhaps, if we churchmen loved our wives to the extent God expects, the experience of peace and happiness would prevail in our lives and in their lives more often. Can we churchmen do better on this point?
Finally, we churchmen should consider the spiritual and emotional needs of our children. “Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, lest they be discouraged.” When we love our children and pay them timely attention, we avoid discouraging conditions. Can we churchmen do better as it involves our kids?
Prayerfully, our families will make us feel like a million bucks on Father’s Day. But, it might do us all good if we ask our Heavenly Father, “Can I do better?”
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.