Yours truly with the greatest Dad in the world!
Whether you have a great dad or a not-so-great dad, no one can deny how important the role of a father is in a child's life. Books like Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge, strongly emphasize this fact as the author examines the heart of a man and the way it is particularly shaped by his father. The woman's version of the book, Captivating, echoes the same things. Not to say that the mother's role is not crucial and pivotal (because it is) but the role of a father might even have a greater impact because of the responsiblity endowed to a man by our Creator.
God appointed men into a role of headship and leadership from the beginning of time (Genesis 1:26). He's responsible for leading and shaping his family and is commissioned to love and protect them sacrificially; just as Christ does for His church (Ephesians 5:23-26).
Throughout the Bible, we see various examples of good and bad leadership. Have you ever noticed that if the man erred in his judgment, his family suffered right along with him? A classic example of this can be found in Daniel 6:24: And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den (KJV).
Does that seem a little harsh? After all, what did those women and children do to deserve that? Nothing. However, it was because of the decisions and actions of the heads of their families that they had to suffer. Their men led them straight to a den of lions. They were endowed with the responsiblity to love, lead, and protect their families. However, they were blinded by their own selfishness and greed and naturally, took their families down with them. When the head suffers, so does the rest of the body.
Obviously, that is the worst case scenario. Not all bad decisions in leadership lead to death (at least not physical death). However, poor and/or passive leadership always leads to some kind of lion's den and can ravage a family physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually (which is the cruelest of all).
On the flip side, there are also examples of men who made decisions that helped, and not hurt, their families. There are many accounts of men in the Bible whose crucial decisions saved their families. One such story is of the jailer whose choice to fall to his kness in surrender saved his entire family and they were all baptized immediately (Acts 16:16-34). That last verse says: he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family (NIV). Wow! Now that was a great leadership decision on his part! He led and his family followed - not into a den of lions, but into the arms of Jesus!
One of our best, and favorite, pictures.
Therefore, men, it is so important that you take your leadership role seriously! Be like the jalier, not the "wise men". Be a man of faith and character; like Abraham. Be a man after God's own heart; like David. Be like Job and be unwavering in your commitment to God; praising Him even when things do go awry. Men, we need you!
If there's one thing that this writer is grateful for, it's the fact that she has the kind of earthly father that reflects the heart of her heavenly one. This is one girl that has been blessed with the kind of father that knows what it means to lead and be responsible; always doing everything he can to have the kind of character that defines a good and godly man. It is a relief to never have to say, "My Daddy left me....he doesn't love me....he was never there for me." It is heart-breaking to see so much of that in the world! Oh, how we need our fathers!! If only we all had daddies like the one yours truly is blessed to have!!
Daddy, we look up to you!!
Happy Father's Day to every dad out there! May you be the kind of man that reflects the heart of God! This world is crying out for it! And, may the Lord be with all of you who are grieving the loss of your fathers today (or the fathers that have lost a child or cannot have children). Remember, as you celebrate this day, to pray for those that may be hurting and feeling the void in their heart where a father's love should be. Encourage them with the love of our heavenly Father; who is always there and never forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
God bless all you daddies! Remember, teach your sons to be men by being an example of one yourself. Also, make it a priority to dance with your little princesses often! Your young royalty will grow up so fast! Be sure that you're always the kind of king that they can look up to!