"...and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me." (John 8:28)
Jesus Christ is our Pattern in thousands of ways, many of which we overlook. The world has taught the lie that the father's role is of secondary importance. Most of the church realizes it is a lie, but the body of Christ has nevertheless adopted the worldly concept. It has settled for something less than the full heavenly thought of God, the Father.
"Daddy, can I have this?" "Daddy, can we do this?" "Daddy, can we go to such and such after we do this?" The next time you're in a family restaurant, put down your fork and listen. It's always "Daddy!" The child knows he or she has the mother's acceptance and love, but there is a need for more. He or she must be important to Daddy.
Mother's love is invaluable, but stability comes from the father. When the father is absent, or when he takes a secondary role, instability permeates the family. It is a principle of God.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:19)
Just as Jesus emulated the Father, every child does the same, whether good or bad. It isn't in his genes, it is a principle of God. Like gravity, it is a law we can't ignore.
If the father smokes and drinks, but tells the child not to, the child will smoke and drink. If the father displays violent anger, but tells the child not to, the child will display violent anger. If the father is a couch potato, his child will become a couch potato. If the father crosses his legs a certain way, the child crosses his legs the same way. If the father is a religious hypocrite, the child will establish no deep religious roots.
In some Christian homes, the father's role has been reduced to that of disciplinarian. Fear enters through this door and stability is destroyed. At his earliest opportunity, the child rebels and flees the unhealthy environment.
How does the father bring stability into the home? By changing his center of focus away from the demands of the world and placing it upon the demands of God. By committing himself to something greater than the limits of this life and this world.
Abraham was the patriarch, the father of the Jewish nation. As he was learning to transfer his focus from earth to heaven, he made a major mistake. He sired Ishmael, who became the father of the Arab nations. The Jews are still experiencing the penalty for that worldly mistake.
But Abraham became aware of the intervention of heaven when God fulfilled His promise through the miracle of the birth of Isaac. From that point, Abraham developed into the father role model God wanted him to be.
Joshua and Caleb became excellent father role models. They waited forty years for all the other worldly centered fathers to die, then they led the children of Israel into the promised land. Like Christ, they focused upon Father God and did nothing without His approval. Joshua and Caleb raised up a new generation, and we can too.
Fathers must understand that proper fatherhood requires heavenly involvement. Under stress and pressure, Abraham tried fatherhood along another line, but heaven dictated that he return to Sarah. Only then did his fatherhood become a reality.
Principles of God cannot be cast aside. God requires harmony with Him, and this necessitates a change of focus.
Satan uses the demand of the world for survival, to dominate the focus of most fathers. To this he has added the "right for liberation" to dominate the focus of many mothers. He uses the influence of television to drive the divisive stake into the heart of the family.
But regardless of the efforts of the devil, Godly principles remain the same. Every father has the Bible as reference and Jesus Christ as his role model.
Survival is essential, and women must be free to be individuals, but not at the expense of harmonious family relationships. When the focus is upon survival or liberation, the heavenly objective is shunted to a side track.
As a result, instability enters the family. Priorities go awry, children become problems rather than blessings, and God's purpose goes unfulfilled in every family member.
The world will not change on its own, it needs a role model. Change of focus has to start within the body of Christ. This means Christian fathers must bring the principles of God into reality. It means they must trust God for survival necessities.
God will bless the work of their hands when they do. This frees them to focus upon God and to bring the focus of their children alongside theirs. In their change of focus, they keep the heavenly way alive and stop the drain of earthliness which saps the Christian life.
When Joshua and Caleb saw the mountains in the promised land, they didn't see them as obstacles or hindrances, they saw them as the way to God's glory. There are also mountains in the path of each father, but if his center of focus is upon God, the promises of God become his to pass along to his children.
"For whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner."
Your child can't help himself, it's a principle of God.
Jesus is King!
P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?
Question for today: What sort of role model am I?