The difference was plain as day! It was a quick trip to the park on a Saturday evening. Nothing major, just a few minutes with the family to get out the hyper-activity. I didn’t notice it right away, but once it sank in, there was no stopping the waves of sadness, frustration, and anger. It might not be a big deal to you, but it still stands out to me. It doesn’t have to do with what I saw, but rather, what I didn’t see!
Out of all the families at the park that day, there was not another father with his child. Not one. Plenty of moms with their children, playing around the monkey bars, walking the track, kicking the ball – but no dads.
There is a crisis of leadership among families – especially of godly, male leadership. Fathers are absent, too busy working to be present. Fathers are passive, too stressed and tired to be involved. Satan is attacking homes by attacking fathers, and it’s working! The US leads the world in fatherless families. Nearly 35% (over 1/3) of kids are without a father in their life. Twenty million children growing up in ‘head-less’ homes.
The annual cost to the government due to fatherlessness: $100 billion.
STATS: Dads make a difference!
Dad, you might not feel like your presence is very important. You might not feel like you are making a difference, but you are. Fatherless kids are more likely to be:
– convicted of a violent crime (2,000% more likely than those with fathers)
– involved in a teen / unwed pregnancy (700% more likely than those with fathers)
– involved in homosexuality, rape, sexual deviance (1,400% more likely than those with fathers)
– a high-school dropout (900%more likely than those with fathers)
Children growing up in fatherless homes are also more likely to…
– Attempt suicide as a teenager (500% more likely than those with fathers)
– Run away from home (3,200% more likely than those with fathers)
– Abuse drugs / alcohol (1,000% more likely than those with fathers)
The Kind of Dad who Makes the Difference
As seen in 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 Text (v11): “as a father doth his children”
1.He is Gentle (v7)
–’Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, ‘ 1 Thessalonians 2:7
He might be rough around the edges, he might have been a good candidate for the Hell’s Angels… but that doesn’t mean he can’t be gentle. Being gentle is being tender or mild. It is to interact with others through the grace of God. His tone (his words) should be gentle; his touch should be gentle (affectionately hugging his family).
2.He Gives of Himself (v8)
–’so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. ‘ 1 Thessalonians 2:8
He is like a nursing mother who doesn’t want to give her baby anything but herself (no bottles, no formula). He bares himself in honesty and transparency with this family and lives sacrificially for them (Ephesians 5:25).
3.He is Gospel-Centered (v9)
–’Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. ‘ 1 Thessalonians 2:9
Not only is he a saved man, but he is familiar with the cross because he daily dies to himself. He knows God because he’s not afraid to be associated with Christ’s death, suffering and resurrection (Philippians 3:10). The Bible and the gospel aren’t separate from him, his life is lived for the glory of God.
4.He is Godly (v10)
–’You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. ‘ 1 Thessalonians 2:10
This kind of dad patterns his fathering after his Heavenly Father. Growing in holiness, dealing fairly with others, acting above board, without accusations. He seeks the Divine attributes as his own and desires God’s presence and power upon Him (Matthew 6:33). Furthermore, he depends upon God more than he does himself or his work. He loves others more than they love in return. He is a good representative of God, the Father, to his children.
5.He Guides (v11)
–’For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, ‘ 1 Thessalonians 2:11
This dad is actively building his family with spiritual coaching, emotional comfort, and Scriptural challenges. He is not a passive, ‘do as I say-not as I do’ kind of father but he is present and involved, walking with them over the mountains and through the dark valleys of life. It’s sad that many adolescent grow up without a guide to ‘forsake’ (Prov. 2:17) – even in so-called Christian homes.
6.He is Good at Reproducing Himself (v12)
–’encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. ‘ 1 Thessalonians 2:12
Whether consciously or not, he prepares another generation not only to fill his shoes, but also to surpass his spiritual devotion and to be great for God. He understands that his calling is far bigger than the here and now. He realizes that what he does (or doesn’t) affects eternity – and not just his eternity, either! Amazingly, he overcomes the enemies of pride, career-pressures, laziness, financial burdens, media bombardment, procrastination, sensual culture, selfishness, and more. His success isn’t measured during his lifetime, nor the next – his rewards will wait until all is tallied at the judgment (Matthew 25:23).
How important is Daddy to His child?
A father is so important to a child! let me tell you what a child thinks about daddy! I promise you it will change your perspective about Fatherhood. A 6 year old wrote a letter to God one day. This is how it read.
Thanks for giving me a daddy….
You knew just what I’d need! In case you need to make daddies for other kids, I thought you might like to know what I like best about the one you sent me:
A good dad …
1. knows everything (like how to tie shoes and drive a car)
2. is really smart (he even knows where the wind goes after it blows through the trees)
3. has a forgiving heart (for when I mess up)
4. is loaded with patience, patience, patience (he probably won’t need it, but just in case…)
5. has a comfy lap and a big laugh (you understand about that, don’t you?)
6. tells me all about you and your son.
P.S. I almost left out the best part! A good dad has real strong arms (to catch me when I fall. He says you’re just like that, too).
Find Out More About Manly Training Ministries
You don’t need a Bribe to Join my Tribe… Go ahead, make it official!
© 2016 MANLY TRAINING
I would be very grateful if you shared this article and website on your Twitter, Facebook, or other social media. You can also follow MANLY TRAINING on:
A Word From Eduardo Quintana
A Call To Action
Men, our families need godly men. Our wives need godly men. Our world needs godly men. Will you be a man with me? Let’s show ourselves strong by living for the Lord. Today I ask you to decide, will you be a man or a mouse? Will you be a Godly man or will you turn your back on God? Will you be a man that lives to serve his wife and children or will you be the man that lives to please himself? Choose today what kind of a man you will be, as for me and my sons, we will serve the Lord and be the men that God created us to be. Will you join us?