Summary: In today’s society, the role of a dad is not seen as significant. But according to the Bible, he has some very distinct and indispensable roles.
June 15, 2003 Colossians 3:18-4:1
“What part does dad play?””
A little girl once said to her mother, “Mommy, if Santa Claus brings our presents, and God gives us our daily bread, and Uncle Sam gives us Social Security, why do we keep daddy around?”
Why do we keep daddy around? It is a question that far too many families have answered with an “I don’t know”, and have chosen to get rid of daddy through divorce. Tonight, 40% of all American children will go to sleep in a house in which their fathers do not live. Before the age of eighteen, more than 50% of our children will spend a significant portion of their childhood living apart from their fathers. A generation ago, an American child could reasonably expect to grow up with a dad. Today, an American child can reasonably expect not to. Fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend in this generation. - SOURCE: David Blankenhorn, Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem (New York, New York: BasicBooks, 1995) pp.1-2.
Even in the entertainment that we watch through TV and movies, we get the picture that fathers are not really that important. Either they are non-existent, or they are bumbling idiots who haven’t got a clue and whose only role is to sit detached from the rest of the family in their lazyboy recliner and be the brunt of the family’s jokes. As old-fashioned as it may seem, I think that we need to go back to the images of a Ward Cleaver and Andy Griffith as men who stood up for what they believed in and actively taught their children to do the same.
I am here to tell you this morning that fathers are important to the health of their families and to the health of our society. You can’t just cast them aside and expect that everything is going to go on as it should. Fathers have a huge role to play in today’s family. In fact, they have at least three main roles to fulfill, and each of these roles has two manifestations in the lives of the family members.
This morning, I am going to be talking to a large extent to the men that are in this room. But ladies, I have a message for you too. As we see the biblical role of fathers, use this as your guidemap for how you pray for your husbands, your sons and the other men in your life. Pray that they will realize their true role and will work to live up to the expectations that have been placed on them by God. Children, my goal for you is that you will be challenged today to pray for your dads that they might be the kind of men that we will describe and that you will respect them because they have been placed in your life by God. Boys, try to become this kind of man. Girls, pray that God would provide this kind of man for you to marry one day. And for you who are single moms, you have to serve in the capacities of both mom and dad. So let these traits that we will discuss become the focus of your life.
1. As a husband, he is a leader and a lover. (vs. 18,19)
Leader (vs. 18)
This verse and its corollary in Ephesians 5 are probably two of the most maligned and despised verses in all of Scripture. I’m not going to spend a lot of time here because the role of the wife in the family is not the focus of the message today. Let me say a couple of things about the idea of submission though. Submission as it is talked about in the Bible has nothing to do with the superiority of one person over another or the supposed greater worth of one person over another. In Gal. 3:28, God makes it clear that men and women have equal worth before Him. Jesus Christ willingly submits Himself to the Father even though they are both God, have the exact same power and are equally deserving of worship. Did you catch that word “willingly”? It is not a forced submission. It is a choice. So it must be in the marriage relationship.
A few moments ago, I mentioned a couple of good TV role models for fatherhood. Perhaps you remember another role model that was not quite so good - Archie Bunker. If you’re not quite old enough to have watched his antics, picture a guy sitting in his recliner, watching his TV, smoking his cigar as he yells at his wife getting her to perform whatever desire he has. That is not the picture of what God had in mind when He established the home.