1 Corinthians 11:3 (ESV) —3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
Satan always tries to flip upside down every standard, institution or role that God has instituted. God gave different responsibilities and roles to men and women to:
- Offset the sin curse, and
- Give us living examples of spiritual truths such as the Bride of Christ (the Church)
One of the most attacked aspects of our society is MEN. Why? Because God gave the role of leadership and accountability to men.
- In our society, sitcoms, commercials, movies and culture portray men as insensitive apes who care only about sex and beer, who are clueless about anything thoughtful or meaningful and who couldn’t get dressed for work in the morning if a woman wasn’t there to make sure they did right.
- Men are portrayed as buffoons, dolts, dumb, simple minded and at best slightly lovable idiots who know only sports and babes.
- Even worse, aggressive feminism portrays men as aggressive predators, potential rapists and would-be child molesters at worst… at best they are unnecessary oppressors of women who on the one hand are on the one hand put forth as empowered saviors of society while claiming constant victimhood and helplessness against men.
Men at all levels are attacked:
- Male – toxic masculinity that saturates western culture and oppresses women and children
- Father – part of the patriarchy that oppresses women and creates power and privilege for men who control and dominate their wives and children
- Christian – you subjugate women and treat them second class, living out the patriarchy of an out of touch religion
- White – you’re a racist on top of all the rest
Our society today attacks men at all levels as evil and in need of being molded into “male feminists”, men who hate what they are, who admit they are racists, oppressors, misogynists and violators of women…
- at best, men are just treated like insensitive idiots who need to shut up and do what their wife tells them to do.
All of this couldn’t be MORE ungodly or unbiblical. Christians should NEVER be part of this, even in jokes (“men are so dumb…”) or stereotypes.
Both men AND women in the Bible have God ordained roles, and are both honored and rewarded for fulfilling those roles
- We have no problem proclaiming this about women (and rarely hear lessons rebuking their faults)
- In churches, Mothers Day and Womens Conferences are all about encouraging women and proclaiming the glories of mothers and wives
- But men are fair game to rebuke and point out their flaws (and rarely hear lessons honoring and encouraging them).
- In churches, Fathers Day and Mens Conferences are all about telling men how they fail, and rebuking their failures of being a husband and father
So today, on Fathers Day (2021) this message is going to praise, thank and encourage MEN as we look at what the Bible says about the importance of men and fathers.
Fathers should be celebrated and honored for their role, their sacrifice and their influence not only on their own family but society as a whole. Look at the problems “fatherlessness” bring:
- Children living in female headed families with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6 percent, over 4 times the rate in married-couple families.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”
Physical and Emotional Health
- Children of single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to commit suicide.
- Father involvement in schools is associated with the higher likelihood of a student getting mostly A’s. This was true for fathers in biological parent families, for stepfathers, and for fathers heading single-parent families.
- 71% of high school dropouts are fatherless; fatherless children have more trouble academically, scoring poorly on tests of reading, mathematics, and thinking skills; children from father-absent homes are more likely to be truant from school, more likely to be excluded from school, more likely to leave school at age 16, and less likely to attain academic and professional qualifications in adulthood.
- Compared to peers in intact families, adolescents in single-parent families and stepfamilies were more likely to engage in delinquency.
- A study using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health revealed that if the number of fathers is low in a neighborhood, then there is an increase in acts of teen violence.
- Children age 10 to 17 living with two biological or adoptive parents were significantly less likely to experience sexual assault, child maltreatment, other types of major violence, and non-victimization type of adversity, and were less likely to witness violence in their families compared to peers living in single-parent families and stepfamilies.
Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy
- A study using a sample of 1409 rural southern adolescents (851 females and 558 males) aged 11 – 18 years, investigated the correlation between father absence and self-reported sexual activity.
- The results revealed that adolescents in father-absence homes were more likely to report being sexually active compared to adolescents living with their fathers.
Ephesians 6:4: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
- Fathers were given to instill discipline and responsibility in children
- Fathers are there to teach children about the Lord
Proverbs 1:8: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.”
- Fathers instruct their kids in life, help them grow, be mature and disciplined
Psalm 103:13: “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.”
- Fathers are compassionate and want what is best for their children
2 Samuel 7:14-15: “I will be a father to him, and he’ll be a son to me. When he does wrong, I’ll discipline him in the usual ways, the pitfalls and obstacles of this mortal life. But I’ll never remove my gracious love from him.”
- Good fathers want their children to do right, so they do the tough job of disciplining them, and toughen them up when life calls for toughness
Proverbs 23:24: “The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.”
- Fathers instill righteousness in their children by both example and teaching
- A father gets great joy from seeing their children be “good”
Proverbs 4:11-12: “I will guide you in the way of wisdom and I will lead you in upright paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered, and when you run, you will not stumble.”
- Fathers get wisdom from their Heavenly Father then impart that wisdom to their children so the will be “upright”: law abiding, God fearing, respectful and honest
Ephesians 5:28-29: “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.”
- Godly husbands love their wives as they love themselves, and strive to love them as Christ loves the Church
- Godly husbands do not subjugate, dominate or intimidate their wives… they love, cherish and protect them unlike ANY OTHER culture in the history of man
Proverbs 30:18-19: “There are three things that amaze me—no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.”
- The love a man can have for a woman surpasses the value of all else… how many men give their lives, time, incomes and energy to support their wife, care for her, make sure things are taken care of when he is gone
- Men who spend their life providing for their wives and children should be HONORED and esteemed
Mark 10:9: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
- Husbands should be elevated in importance and encouraged in their role as leader of the marriage and family
Biblical Truths about Men and Fathers
The man was created first and given the responsibility to lead.
- Scripture teaches that first the man was created by a direct divine act of creation and given the responsibility to lead; subsequently, the woman was created by God from the man (Gen 2:5–9) and for the man (Gen 2:18–20).
- He is to subdue the earth and is given the name “Adam,” which also serves as the name of the entire human race.
- God calls the man to account and holds him responsible for the fall.
Fathers encourage and comfort their children
1 Thessalonians 2:11–12 “For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.”
- Paul highlights some ways fathers love and lead their children: through encouragement, comfort, and persistently reminding them to live in a way that glorifies God.
- The writer of Hebrews says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,” (Hebrews 10:24) and the unique relationship between father and child creates many opportunities to do so.
When children try to do something difficult, a good father encourages them.
- When a child is hurting, a good father comforts them.
- And a good father demonstrates how to live out God’s calling.
Fathers, Husbands and Men Make Decisions that Affect Those Around Them
Joshua 24:15 “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
- Fathers and husbands make important decisions for their families about how to use their resources, how to spend their time, what to prioritize, and even what ideas and worldviews will influence those decisions.
- A father plays an important role in shaping their family’s ideology.
- A good father makes choices that help their spouses and children orient their lives around God and recognize opportunities to serve his purposes.
God Models the Importance of Fathers
We recognize by secondary application how important Fathers (men) really are because we see God model the role of Father for all of us:
- Matthew 5:45 (ESV) —45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
- Matthew 6:9 (ESV) —9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
- Matthew 6:32 (ESV) —32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
- Romans 1:7 (ESV) —7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Romans 15:6 (ESV) —6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 8:6 (ESV) —6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
Jesus us the importance of Fathers by how He treated His Father:
- John 16:28 I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father.”
- John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
- John 14:31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.
- John 5:19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
- John 14:28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
- John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
The apostle Paul taught that to honor one’s earthly father is not only a commandment but the first commandment that, when obeyed, has a promise of things going well and living long on the earth.
- Ephesians 6:2–3 (ESV) —2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
What Does a Real (Godly) Man Look Like?
A man gains respect by his ability to endure, to take knocks without crumbling or giving up.
- This requires control of the emotions, especially the tendency to self-pity.
- He recognizes the struggle, and prepares himself for it accordingly.
- 2 Corinthians 6:4 (ESV) —4 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger;
Nothing to hide
Godly men are determined to walk in the light
- 1 John 1:7 (ESV) —7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
They are accountable
- They open their lives to the caring scrutiny of other men.
- Secretive men will almost certainly become compromised and undermine their own masculinity.
- A godly mans yes will be yes and his no will be no.
- Not ‘reading between the lines’, no game playing.
- Straight down the line truth.
A true man is not easily intimidated.
- This does not mean he has no fears, but that he can control and overcome them.
- In relationships, in conflicts, when there is a need to speak out, masculinity is brave
- Galatians 2:11–12 (ESV) —11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.
Risk is the hall-mark of the brave heart.
- Philippians 2:29–30 (ESV) —29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30 for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.
- When a man takes no risks out of fear or pride, faith cannot grow.
Courage makes a man optimistic for the future.
He is always looking forward with vision, his head held high:
- Philippians 3:13–16 (ESV) —13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Its what you know, not what you feel.
Men should be clear-thinking, not governed by unstable feelings.
- This quality is vital in church leadership.
- Mood-swings and changeable emotions bring serious instability if they control a man. [Intemperance is a disqualification for church leadership]
- Shallow excitement can be as unhelpful as negativity; neither express real faith.
- True faith is the conviction of things not seen, which a man thinks through, embraces and acts upon.
- Hebrews 11:1–2 (ESV) —1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation.
Keeping the right company
Real men will enjoy the company of challenging men. They won’t mind being rebuked if they need it.
- Proverbs 27:5–6 (ESV) —5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
They can exchange ideas, discuss deep theology.
- They will learn from others, old and young!
- They will seek to know more and to learn more from other men.
Take control of the situation
A manly man has initiative and takes a lead.
- Not all men will be ministers.
Yet all can lead in the sense that they personify godly masculinity.
- Husbands can lead their families;
- single men can lead in focused devotion to Jesus.
- Whatever a man’s type of character – extrovert, introvert, self-confident, talkative, easy-going, idealistic — his spirit can be fused with godly masculinity.
A man controls his emotions and passions
- Single or married, a real man tames his passions.
- He doesn’t abuse women or children; he protects them.
- He keeps his hands off a woman who is not his wife and treats his wife with love, respect and dignity.
- He keeps his eyes off pornographic images.
- He protects a single woman’s virginity and innocence.
- He’s not defined by his exploits below the waist.
- He’s a man with a heart, head and conscience.
A man provides for his family
First Timothy 5:8 says, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
- These are strident words.
- When a man doesn’t work and provide for his family, he feels a sense of shame.
- His self-worth sinks.
A man who doesn’t work, who can’t keep a job, who moves from job to job, or who refuses to assume his responsibility creates insecurity in his wife and children.
- Every man needs to provide for his family, which also means taking responsibility to provide for emotional and spiritual needs.
- A father should train his children and prepare them to become responsible adults who know how to negotiate the swift and sometimes evil currents of culture.
A man protects his family
To borrow an illustration from John Piper and Wayne Grudem on the essence of masculinity:
- Being a protector calls for more than ensuring physical safety.
- Proverbs 4:10–15 (ESV) —10 Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. 11 I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. 12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. 13 Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. 14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. 15 Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.
- A father who protects his children by passing on wisdom, helping him build godly character, and teaching him to reject the lies and temptations of the world.
- This father protects not only his son but the generations to follow as the wisdom he shares gets passed on.
A man serves and leads his family
Serve and lead may seem like a contradiction, but they are inseparable according to Scripture.
- While the Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:23 that “the husband is the head of the wife,” he quickly puts to rest any notions that this leadership allows for selfish male dominance.
- He completes the sentence with, “as Christ also is the head of the church.”
The passage goes on to say that husbands should love their wives “just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (verse 25).
- This paints a picture of leadership contrary to how the world views it.
- A man is called to be a servant-leader – to take responsibility for his wife and children and to put their needs ahead of his own.
- He is called to demonstrate selfless, sacrificial love – the type of love we see in God toward his children.
A man follows God’s design for true masculinity
Micah 6:8 says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
- The core of a man’s life should be his relationship with God.
- The man who walks humbly with God is motivated and empowered to step up and assume the difficult responsibilities that come his way.
We may not be able to cleanse society of their male hating, husband hating, Christian hating, father insulting ways… but we as the Church should NEVER be part of it, joking or otherwise.
- We should be careful not to fall into the culture traps of denigrating and insulting men as patriarchal, abusive tyrants full of toxic, women oppressing masculinity.
- We should celebrate, honor, elevate and reward REAL MEN who love God, love their wives, love their children, provide for their families, protect the weak, and lead the Church.
- Ladies if you have a hard time loving your man, or men in general, perhaps you have been influenced by our culture and need to ask God to cleanse you of that and have your mind renewed by the Word.
On this Fathers Day, honor men, honor husbands, honor Fathers, even though flawed, even though imperfect… why don’t you give them a break for one day and tell them how much valuable they are to God’s plan and your life.
There’s plenty of time later to remind them of their failures.