Friday, July 30, 2010

Dads, Are We Serious?

It is factual to say that most churches are made up of more women than men, usually by a ratio of nearly two to one. This has certainly been the trend for the past 50 years, and perhaps for much longer. Women, by and large, are more spiritually-inclined and more committed to Christian duty than their male counterparts.

God, however, primarily entrusted men with the role of spiritual leadership in the household. It was to fathers that Moses, speaking the words of God, said, "Hear, O Israel: Yahweh is our God, Yahweh alone. You shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lied down and when you arise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates" (Deuteronomy 6.6-9).

These words form the Shema, a constant reminder of God's sovereignty and one's personal commitment to God, and of the father's obligation to instruct his children to honor God and his law. The Rabbis taught that these words were to be recited by husbands and fathers with the evening prayers at the close of each day, and again with the morning prayers at the dawning of each new day. The importance of religious instruction in the household was not to be dismissed.

Today, many men have dismissed their obligation to provide spiritual leadership in the household. Religious instruction is left to wives and mothers, or to ministers and teachers. And, we wonder why so many have forsaken God and why our culture has become so corrupt and evil.

Fathers, it is said by sociologists that we have the greatest influence over the spiritual development of your children. The children of a father who dismisses church involvement and spiritual disciplines are much more likely to forsake such values, themselves, when they reach adulthood. These findings represent no trend, but are founded upon God's creative order. Husbands and fathers, God has given us a responsibility. Have we taken it seriously?


Steve Robertson said...

I grew up in my a family where my dad didn't go to church. My brother and I stopped going at an early age. If dad didn't bother, why should we?

I forget the exact statistics, but they go something like this. If you convert a dad to Christ, you get the family something around 90% of the time. If you convert the mother (but not the father), you get the rest of the family, I believe, was less than 20%.

When I meet someone that doesn't believe in God, the first thing I want to know is what they're relationship is like with their father.

May we (dads) all heed the words of Paul: "Act like men." 1 Cor. 16:13

Jim Christian said...

Twice as many women in church? That's about right, half of the homes in America don't have a dad in them. Our problem is not converting the dads it's finding them in the first place. How many single dads do you know? Single moms? I'm sure the number is at least two to one if not higher.

With teen pregnancy becoming the norm, and divorce rates over 50% there are other problems to address besides getting the few dads who are in the house to church. I often wonder if God isn't tempted to write off our generation and start over again, it has been raining alot lately!