Scripture is clear on how we are to invest in the fathers around us.
If you aren’t edifying the father’s around you, you’re messing up.
I’ll tell you why in a minute. First, some history.
As I sat down to write about Father’s day, it struck me that I didn’t even know its origins. So, I did what any good father would do: I jumped online and started sifting.
The first event to honor fathers happened in a West Virginia church on July 5th, 1908. It was a one-time commemoration to honor the 362 men who died in an explosion at the Fairmont Coal Company. From there, the concept jumped coasts. Sonora Smart Dodd, a Washington-state resident, went to work gaining support for a Mother’s Day equivalent for fathers. In June 1910, Washington-state celebrated the first statewide Father’s Day.
The brush fire was started (even though men weren’t asking for it) and by 1924 President Calvin Coolidge urged all state governments to celebrate fathers. In 1972, he signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a Federal Holiday. Oh, and cool, random fact: in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson even set up a telegraph signal that, when he pushed it, unfurled a flag all the way in Spokane, Washington. Anyway, I digress. Father’s Day isn’t just in the United States, but also in over 111 other countries. It’s widespread.
So research done, browser closed, origin tracked down—at least the first concept of honoring fathers started in a church.
Honoring fathers is Biblical, so that makes sense.
But, is that what happens in messages on Father’s Day? Not always. Listen, this is coming from a guy who loves correction: If you’re hearing praise for our Heavenly Father’s perfection followed by a lot of emphasis on how much us fathers are failing, know that’s not a well-rounded spiritual diet. It’s wise to take rebuke from a brother, but that’s not the only thing men need.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 keeps coming to mind. “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as also you are doing.”
Men need encouragement, they need building up, they need edifying. They play an important role in the family as the spiritual leader. That role doesn’t start and stop at fatherhood, it’s a built in, lifelong, eternal and necessary process with origins back to birth.
Boys become men, men become husbands, husbands become fathers. Godly men aim to have major roles in every step of this process for the next generation.
“And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it.”
– Genesis 9:7 (NKJV)
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
– Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)
When we align to the divine, it pays huge dividends in our home life and represents the Kingdom of God and all of His glory. It brings necessary light and love to a God-ordained family. It boosts spiritual growth.
In short, fathers, you are very important—this role is no joke. It is not just something you would do well to take seriously, but a role everyone would do well to take seriously.
Trust—my mind is categorizing all of the struggles, the challenges, and the battles that I constantly face. Ones you may be facing, too. I can’t name or imagine them all. Every day, spiritual forces and our own flesh come against us. Honestly, it sucks. But, it’s to be expected in something so worthwhile. The more you lead your family toward the light, the more of an enemy you are to our enemy. There is an all-out war on families, our wives, sons, and daughters. You serve as a shield for them.
Satan’s battle with you is a direct reflection of his hatred for God. He doesn’t want to see God-glorifying, driven, seeking-and-serving families. It’s why the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy. He wants disorder, chaos, failure, and broken homes. He stands in direct opposition to what is good, to what is godly, and to God, Himself.
But here’s the kicker—a little secret we need to hold on to: that great liar is already defeated.
It doesn’t have to feel like an uphill battle that started in the garden; we can walk in victory, because God gave us Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:57). Jesus came so that we could have new life, new wine in new wine skins, be the fathers God wants us to be. We don’t need to settle for weak sauce lives. He gives us access to our true purpose and an abundant life.
So, yeah, Satan wants you to fail, Adam and Eve dropped the ball, the world is wicked, we fall short, and it’s challenging…but God. He makes the impossible possible. Humble yourself, admit that help is required, tap into the source. God will lift you up (James 4:10).
Celebrate the gift that is a godly father. Pray for more godliness to fill more fathers’ hearts. Encourage the fathers you know. Value fatherhood despite their shortcomings. Correct fathers with grace. Defend fatherhood with your respect for the role.
Father or not, relentlessly ask God to make you a better follower of Him. You got this, because God’s got you.
Shea says he’s, “just a man who loves Jesus.” Michelle, his wife and co-host on The Pantry Podcast, adds the rest. Shea is a veteran of the U.S. Army and a soldier in the Army of the Lord. After running to everything but Jesus for 41 years, he submitted to the Lord on a New Year’s Day. It was then that Christ miraculously delivered Shea from addiction, PTSD, delusions, and flashbacks and awakened his hunger for the Lord. Now, Shea leads their local church’s men’s ministry and a weekly life group, works a 9-to-5, and runs In Full Color Ministries to spread the Gospel and stock their food pantry in Kisumu, Kenya.