With Father’s Day coming upon us, I wanted to focus my writing on fathers. This has been quite a task for me, since I am not a father, nor am I even a man. I don’t intimately know the struggles of a man, or the insecurities of a father. I don’t know how a father needs to be encouraged or what angle is most effective. Give me the task of speaking to a woman on Mother’s Day and I could find endless topics, but for men? I feel lost. I joke with my clients that to me, men are like Zebras. I can study them, I can learn about them, but I will never know what it is like to be one. This is my situation as I write to you today about fathers.
As an woman who studies Zebras, I mean men, for a living this is what I do know; being a good man, and being a good father is hard. I believe that it always has been, but in today’s society manhood is under attack. It seems to me that at one time men at least knew their place, but over the years, with many shifts in society there has been introduced some ambiguity as to what it is to be a good man, and a good father. We are faced with a generation of men who have been raised without their own fathers engaging with them, as a result many men don’t know how to engage in life or with their own children. Many men are lumped into a category of being harmful to women, and though there are those men, not every man is nor should he be automatically treated as such. The men who are not harmful to women are so afraid to cross that line they may shrink back where we need them to rise up. It all feels ambiguous.
In my studies of men and in my curious conversations with men I have learned that at the core of a man’s heart is the question “Do I have what it takes?” I bounce that question off of what I see in our society and my heart hurts at the lies some men have accepted. As a result some men may try to over compensate to prove they do, though if they are honest they still feel insecure. This sometimes may lead to abusive behavior. Other men may run, leaving their children fatherless. While other men try very hard to be fathers, they carry the heavy burden of belief that they are failing or that they are not good enough. They believe they don’t have what it takes.
Fathers, this is my message for you. Psalms 139 says that God created your in most being, Philippians 2:13 says that when we let Him, He works inside of us, Ephesians 2:10 says that we are God’s workmanship and He has prepared a specific purpose for each individual. To top it off Psalm 123:3-5 says that children are a blessing. I must conclude that God would not bless you or ordain you for works without giving you what it takes to do it well.
As a woman, I have experienced the damage that can be done by men who believe the lie that they don’t have what it takes. I have been the victim more than once to men who have gotten lost on this messy road called life. But I have also felt the healing touch of godly men. My own father is a godly man who came through for me many times over. He has shown me the kind of mercy and love that only comes from God the Father. I have felt the healing effects of a brotherly hug from my own brother and from a dear friend of mine who had no motives in the hug but to support me as my world was crumbling around me. Something in their pure motives and strength, put strength inside of me. I have felt the healing effects of my godly man who has been courageous enough to wade into the deep waters of woman emotions, even when I can see in his face that he would rather shut down and go into the other room. God used him to heal me in ways that I cannot express in words, only to say that there is peace now where my world once felt turbulent. This is not works of man’s flesh, but a work of God’s Spirit.
I have also seen the healing men can offer to one another. You don’t have to be a biological father to heal others with a father’s heart. Men can father boys who whose fathers abandoned them, and men can father and strengthen one another in a spiritual way. There is a gentle strength than only man can offer this world and he can only offer it when he decides to align himself with his Maker. This world is starving for that kind of strength.
Men, you have what it takes to be good men and good fathers, even if you don’t have your own children. The key to living it out comes from Nehemiah 4:14 “…Don’t be afraid, remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons, daughters, your wives and your homes.” This will be the Scripture for the message of Father’s Day, June 16. We will be blessed to hear David Brackeen give the message. We would love for you to join us at 10:00 AM EST.