Godly Fathers: Possibly The Most Powerful Word In The English Language: Dad
Godly fathers matter so much in the Christian lives of their children. I learned of this quote from a research study noted in Tender Warrior by Stu Weber:
“The impact of a father is no different in Christian homes. One startling bit of research conducted by the Christian Business Men‘s Committee found the following: When the father is an active believer, there is about a seventy-five percent likelihood that the children will also become active believers. But if only the mother is a believer, this likelihood is dramatically reduced to fifteen percent.”
—Keith Meyering, in Discipleship Journal, issue #49, p. 41
While Weber’s point in noting this study is not to belittle motherly Christian influence, his point is clear: God designed the family unit to be lead by a Godly husband and father.
There may be no greater word in our language than dad. Most of us learn it first when we are just beginning to speak. We say “Da-da” and begin an acknowledgement of a relationship with the first person we bond with outside of the womb. More than a word, the impact throughout life is indelible. The word Dad spans across generations.
The Bible gives us a beautiful hierarchy that shows our manly responsibility: “I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). And: “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior” (Ephesians 5:23).
The reason that these two passages sound counter-cultural today is because we, as men, have fallen down on our job. The idea being recommended is not that men are to be domineering, but rather that they are to be like Christ. They are to lay their lives down for their bride. If all men everywhere lead like this, we would be more apt to ascribe to this hierarchy more readily.
To be a Godly father begins by being a role-model-husband. If we can demonstrate to our children a pure and God-honoring love for our wives, children sense it. In the hierarchy we’ve been discussing, while children aren’t mentioned, they are sure to directly follow next. Love flows from God to God-fearing fathers, to God-honoring mothers down to our children.
Men, determine today to be Godly fathers. Women, determine today to support your husband no matter who he is. Begin to see him for what he can become if there are great hurdles left to be jumped. Men desire respect, women desire love. They are two separate but equal needs. (Read Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs)
God will gladly give those who ask (Matthew 7:7). If this is a struggle for you, ask. If you are currently winning, take your relationship as father (or mother) to the next level. We need Godly fathers. Now more than ever.