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. The most important contaminant to be avoided is the idea that they are sinners deserving the wrath and punishment of God. Such a view will soon be seen as a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution because it violates the separation between church and state. If parents are relegated to the role of caregiver, then it is obvious that someone else has to be responsible for the indoctrination of children to teach them 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. What is allowed to be taught to children is next. Being married is no longer a requirement for being considered a family. Both heterosexual and homosexual unions have become legally accepted family units. More and more same-sex couples are being granted adoption privileges. Through in vitro-fertilization and surrogate mothers, same-sex couples now are able to have their own children without the outdated convention of a mother and a father. Two-parent families are no longer the dominant household type in America. How has this happened? The state has made it so. Parents are no longer defined exclusively as two people of the opposite sex. Even as recently as 20 years ago, this new definition of parent would have been unthinkable. Laws, executive orders, and government policies are already adapting to this state-initiated redefinition of the family. The protest that such a redefinition is an offense to God will be seen as an attempt to impose the doctrine of church upon the affairs of the state. Those who believe the Bible must call these alternatives and “improvements” to the institution of the family for what they are–sin. Do not think for one minute that those pushing the agenda of family redefinition will fail to invoke the First Amendment to counter such outdated notions of sin and two-parent families where the parents are exclusively male and female.
Thankfully, God has provided the role of fathers to stand against this mounting tide of secular reconstruction of the family. God has charged fathers with the responsibility to raise their children in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Parents 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 taught, incorporated into daily instruction. This also 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. We must not allow parents to be relegated to the role of caregivers while others indoctrinate children in the belief system of the redefined family. Sin is also being redefined. In today’s belief system, sin is not following the social mandates of those clamoring to see the family remade in the image of the secular humanist.
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.
This post is taken from the last Shepherd Press Newsletter. The newsletter is free. It is a good way to introduce your friends to Shepherd Press. You can sign up for it here.