This coming Sunday we will once again celebrate Father’s Day. It’s an annual event, but do we fully appreciate the importance of fathers and the role they play in life and society?
It is in vogue today to discount the role of fathers, even considering them irrelevant to the family and to children’s lives. This is a grave mistake! No one disputes how hard it is for single mothers to raise their kids, and nothing that I say in this post should be construed to denigrate single mothers; they do a heroic job under difficult circumstances! But let there be no mistake, a child will more likely thrive and fare better if they have both a mother and a father-figure in his/her life, preferably their actual father.
A very high percentage of those in jail for violent crimes are men who had no or very little influence from their fathers. Often, they come from father-less homes. Some have said that our crime problems would be significantly reduced if there were fewer absentee fathers, and I can’t disagree with that.
Fathers play a significant role in their children’s development. Authur McRiddle has noted that fathers:
- Help boost a child’s intellect
- Provide a role model for their children
- Help boost a child’s confidence
- Serve as a counsellor
- Provide a friendly ear for a child’s questions
When a child has no one to turn to when they are facing challenges from their peers or from society at large, the potential for making bad choices is amplified. Fathers provide needed guidance and correction for children.
“Father Abraham” was commissioned by God to model the purpose for fathers. “I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and just.” (Genesis 18:19 ESV) Not that mothers can’t do these things, but fathers play an important role in raising children up for the Lord.
So, whether your father was perfect or not, make sure to pause and thank God for your father and the father figures in your life. And let us pray for our culture, that the importance of fathers might be once again embraced, and that fathers will take responsibility for their children, to “keep the way of the Lord.”