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GOODMORNING- A CHALLENGE FOR FATHERS

The role of mom is pretty well recognized by everyone (including the secular world) as vital to the family, but for some reason fathers have been relegated to the position of second class citizen, especially in our day with the active feminist movement. A well known feminist leader has gone so far as to say, “fathers are a biological necessity, but a psychological absurdity.”

From the standpoint of God’s word and the evidence of a great deal of research that has been done recently, such a statement is an absurdity. Dads have a vital role in bringing strength and stability to the home. Actually, both mom and dad bring ingredients into the home that are crucial to the spiritual and emotional stability of the home. Together they bring a blend of femininity and masculinity which in many ways reveal the image of God. These two influences together, especially when they are the product of godly parentage, are vital forces in shaping spiritually and psychologically healthy children.

Today, children who live in single-parent homes have increased 300 percent. But even when both parents are physically present, the father, and sometimes the mother as well are often spiritually and psychologically absent. This coupled with other factors have had devastating results on the family.

  • Since 1963, violent crime has increased over 500 percent.
  • Illegitimate births have increased 400 percent.
  • Divorces have increased 400 percent.
  • Children living in single-parent homes have increased 300 percent.
  • Teenage suicide has increased 200 percent.
  • S.A.T. scores have dropped almost 80 points, despite huge increases in support for education.

Another alarming statistic is that crime among the very young (7-12 year olds) has increased a whopping 60% in just the last few years. Why has this happened? There are many reasons, but one of the major causes is the breakdown in the home, and this includes the failure of fathers to take the responsibility for the spiritual leadership of the family according to the guidelines of the Word–giving, loving, serving, caring and strong leadership.

Scripture and history show us that as goes the home, so goes the society. And generally speaking–as go the fathers, so goes the home. The moral and spiritual condition of the society is always the offspring of the family.

William Wordsworth wrote, “The child is father of the man,” meaning the experiences which occur in the early and formative years of a child’s life, the experiences of home, shape the character and behavior of tomorrow’s adult. And as that is true of the individual, so it becomes true of an entire society including, of course, its leadership. Note the emphasis of this Psalm:

Psalm 127:1-2 Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. 2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

You’ve probably heard people say: “My wife and I have agreed that we don’t want to force our religion on the children. We want them to be free to make up their own minds about matters as important as that.” This may sound wise or sophisticated, but it is sheer nonsense! There can be no religious neutrality in a home because neutrality about God is itself a form of religion–an anti-God religion. If neutrality is the attitude of parents it will become the religion of their children. Most thoughtful people see the stupidity of bringing up children with an “open mind” about things like school, but fail to apply the same saneness of thought to knowing God.

Most thoughtful parents, by contrast, want their children to know about God and moral living. But somehow in the hustle and bustle of life, they never get a chance to take stock of where such training will come from. They think if they send them to Sunday School that will do it, but that involves only one hour out of 168 hours in a week. But there is a place that has a great deal more impact than any other in society due to the dynamics involve–if those dynamics are utilized. Where is that place? It’s the home–the place where life makes up its mind.

Psalm 78 addresses the importance of the home and the vital role of parents, especially fathers. This is a psalm of instruction covering Israel’s history from Egypt and the Exodus to the time of David. It records the failure of the people of Israel, but it also records the steadfast faithfulness of the Lord and His wonderful works and mercy. Ironically, one of their greatest failures was their failure as parents.

In Psalm 78, we have the words of Asaph, a contemporary of David, who longs to be heard because he is speaking an important word from God to God’s people, one that is absolutely essential to the preservation of society and the purpose of God’s people in society.

Exposition
(Psalm 78:1-8)

Psalm 78:1-8 Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, 3 Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. 4 We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. 5 For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should teach them to their children, 6 That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children, 7 That they should put their confidence in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments, 8 And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart, And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

 

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