A Righteous Dad is a High, Holy Call
Around the time of our daughter’s birth, my husband and I saw a onesie that read, “Daddy Proof.” It came with detailed instructions on how to put it on. The assumption: dads are too stupid to dress their children. A few weeks ago, I talked with a single Dad, who is so frustrated because no male bathroom has a changing station, so he has to change his toddler’s diaper outside. There is little male paternity leave, no male baby showers, and very little daddy support groups. And, have you noticed that nearly every sitcom has a buffoon dad, married to a domineering, nagging mom who is really running the show – not flattering to both men and women.
So, what is all this about? I think that our culture has a really low, troublesome view of Fathers.
It is true that there a lot of absent or abusive dads out there. If you are in ministry you know that one of the greatest barriers people experience when accepting God’s love is an abusive or distant dad. In Duval county, where I am from, 60% of households are fatherless. As a society, we are grappling with the “sins of our fathers,” - the dads who have failed, the spiritual fathers who have marred the image of Christ, and the hurt this has caused. We have lowered the role of Father to something quite pathetic. This low cultural view of Fatherhood doesn’t truly address the problem, but rather merely gives it a wink and a smile, instead of calling out it. More than this, it is an injustice to the Dads who are trying their best to be good Dads and be there for their children.
We need to remember that Fatherhood is vital to the flourishing of humanity. Being a righteous dad is a high, holy call and I know that I am personally indebted to some incredible fathers - my husband, my dad, and many of the spiritual fathers who blessed me along the way.
|Bo and Lydia Sharing a Kiss|
When Bo and I were in the hospital with Lydia, I was having a bad time. I was crying and telling Bo, that I couldn’t do. I just couldn’t be a mom and that we should send our child back to the nursery so they could take care of her and I’ll never forget he said, “No, she’s our daughter. We are called to care for her, so let’s start doing it now. We can do this!” That’s just a snapshot of true Fatherhood, a dad who stands by his kids, wants to give them the best, even when he doesn’t know what he’s doing, even when things are really tough. And isn’t this the True Father’s love for us -self-sacrificing, unrelenting, long-suffering, and always there for His kids.
As I am writing this, I am thinking of a dad who as a child was caged by his own father, a terrible story of neglect. This man, now a dad himself, met Jesus along the way, and he has three children of his own, has fostered over twenty, and works for the good of his family. He could put on a onesie or change a diaper in his sleep. Truly, a righteous Dad is a high, holy call and there are many who are responding to it
This Father’s day I want to express gratitude to all the amazing daddies. Dads who are doing a great job, dads who are blessing their children, dads who are truly stepping up and being dads - your work bears amazing, on going, and far reaching fruit for God’s Kingdom. I have been inspired by you as you care and bless your children.
Special thanks as always to Bo, the most wonderful daddy.
Next week, I will have even more on the topic of Fatherhood with a very special guest blog: MOD (my old dad), Rev. Dr. Robert J. Sanders, so if Fatherhood is a subject that interests you, please keep reading!