The battle for the family is a fight to bring back biblical fatherhood. God has ordained fathers to be the leaders of their homes, but because many fathers aren’t leading their families, the American dream is becoming the American nightmare. A fatherless rate of over 40% in our nation is a curse on our generation. When fathers are absent, the entire family suffers and all of society suffers.
Our goal as dads should be to raise kids that are not just good but godly, and that doesn’t happen accidentally. As dads, we need to embody qualities that are godly. In his book,Raising a Modern Day Knight, Dr. Robert Lewis defines a real man. “A real man rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, leads courageously, and expects the greater reward – God’s reward.”
1) A real man rejects passivity. Why are some men proactive in some areas but passive with what matter most – their family, marriage, children, and church? I’m convinced the answer is found in Genesis 3.
Satan convinced Eve if she ate the forbidden fruit, she would be like God. The stage was set for Adam to intervene, and it could have been his shining moment. After all, he was given charge of the garden and dominion over the earth by God Himself! You might have expected Adam to run in and end this heinous invasion of evil in an otherwise perfect world, but that didn’t happen. When confronted with his social and spiritual responsibilities, Adam became passive and did nothing! Genesis 3:6 says he was right there with Eve so the implication is that he watched the whole thing unfold in front of him.
Adam, what were you thinking? At the moment of truth when he was called upon to act, Adam refused to accept the responsibilities God had given him. As members of Adam’s fallen race, it seems Adam’s passive nature toward family and faith are deeply embedded in the male DNA.
Families are crying out for men who will reject passivity. There comes a point where you have to say to your teenaged daughter, “No, honey, you’re not leaving the house dressed like that,” or “No, son, you’re not going out with those friends that I know are going to beer parties,” or “No, son, you’re not watching that R-rated movie or playing that video game.”
We have become a generation of passive husbands and fathers, and we are reproducing that in the next generation. A man’s true strength is not measured by how much he can bench press. A man’s strength is measured in two ways: 1) When it would be easier to do wrong, but he chooses to do right, and 2) When it’s easier to quit, but he chooses to stay and fight.
2) A real man accepts responsibility. Adam failed to accept his God-given responsibility to take charge spiritually and exercise righteous rulership over the earth. And the one thing God told him not to do, he did. Instead of accepting responsibility for what he had done, Adam tried to hide, blamed Eve, and then played the victim. Guys, the moment you start playing the victim card, you give up your manhood card.
3) A real man leads courageously. God ordained the husband to lead his family and be the guardian of his home. Whether or not you understand this principle, Satan certainly does. Why do you suppose that in the Garden of Eden, Satan tempted Eve rather than Adam? Satan is subtle and sly, and he knew emotionally and spiritually Eve was the more vulnerable of the two. He got the man and the woman to reverse roles, and Eve became the spiritual leader.
While Adam became the passive male, Satan attacked the home of the first newlyweds. While Adam was having a spiritual snooze, a sneaky serpent was luring away his wife. What was true back then is still true today. I can promise you, if you’re not leading your family to God, the enemy is leading them away. Your family has spiritual needs that God has ordained you to meet. You represent your family before Almighty God, and it’s up to you to set the vision, values, and direction for your family.
In Exodus when the Egyptian Pharaoh wouldn’t release the Israelites from slavery, God sent a death angel to pass over the land and kill the firstborn of every Egyptian family. The father of each Israelite family had the responsibility to take the blood of the lamb and sprinkle it on the doorposts of the home so the death angel would pass over that family (a picture of the cross of Calvary). The safety of the family depended on what the father did, and if he was negligent or disobedient, the oldest son would die.
In our generation, a death angel is passing over our country. He’s coming to our kids with drugs and alcohol, rebellion and violence, greed and materialism, pornography and STDs, homosexuality and unwanted pregnancies. Dads, if you don’t take the blood of the cross and place it over the door of your soul and your children’s souls, your family doesn’t stand a chance for survival. America’s children are being destroyed because fathers refuse to take spiritual leadership of the home.
Ephesians 6:4, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” God expects fathers to train their children in the word of God and in the ways of righteousness. The father’s responsibility is to lead his household to God so that what your kids hear at church ought to simply reinforce what they have learned at home.
4) A real man expects the greater reward – God’s reward. Adam’s problem was he wanted to be like God, just as God intended, but Adam tried to do it without God. He chose to get his own reward instead of waiting for God’s reward.
The more you get to know who Jesus is, the more you’ll want to be like Him. He was a man of conviction and compassion, who was kind to everyone, but He feared no one. He embodied strength and power and yet had an equal measure of gentleness and humility. He was a warrior and a lover. He fought for what was right, and He laid down his life out of love for His bride, the Church. That’s the kind of man I want to be and the kind of man I challenge you to be.