Fathers. Do we really need them? Surely you can be a successful, well-rounded and secure person without one?

Culture today is pushing back on the idea of fathers and mothers. In fact the whole family unit as God created it seems to be under attack.

But why is it under attack? I believe it’s because the enemy sees it as a threat. The enemy sees the power of families who pursue Jesus together, with each member playing the part designed for them. The family unit with all its parts is designed by God. In the beginning God created man and woman in his image. He placed them together and the first thing he said to them was create family(Genesis 1). If this is God’s first plan for humanity then we have to guard the family unit and its roles.

So what is the role of a Father? The best place to look is to the heavenly Father…God himself. We see so many attributes of the Father in scripture. One of the attributes of God is that he gives.

A father is one who gives —  gives of himself. A father serves those around him and sacrifices for those he loves and he finds pleasure in it. We see this in John 3:16 “For God (the Father) so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (Himself), that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” He is the perfect example of a Father who would sacrifice himself for his children.

A father is one who leads. A father leads his family in pursuit of Jesus and who does so by setting the example. John 5:19-20 shows us how Jesus followed His Fathers example: “He only does what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.” As a father, God reveals His plans to His children and he wants us to respond like Jesus - doing what he says and what he does. A father is someone who leads with action and not just words.

A father is one who sculpts; who steers and who works with the people around them to create a masterpiece. Isaiah 64:7 “Yet, Lord, you are our father; we are the clay and you our potter: we are all the work of your hand.” Just as we find our identity through our Heavenly Father, a father’s role is to draw out one’s God-given identity and set it in place.

We are living in a time where fatherlessness is ever growing. Maybe that is your experience. Maybe your father was or is absent. Take heart that your Heavenly Father never is. He is a Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68) He is always close and with you and that means you have an example too. “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1) So let’s look to the perfect Father as we seek to be fathers. And let’s look to father not only our biological children but those around us who are fatherless. In this way we can help them to become who God has created them to be and they can get to know who He is through us.

So, why do we need fathers?  Because they are designed by God, in his image, as part of His redemption plan.

- Tom Milne
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