One of the greatest determining factors of poverty is single-parent homes; primarily fatherless homes. The need for fathers in the home has never been more apparent than it is today. Our culture has tried to diminish the need for fathers and attempted to emasculate men at every turn. We can see the results of this within our culture. Men provide authority, provision, and protection for the family. When my husband had to leave on deployments my toddler son’s behavior would change so much so that his daycare workers took notice. The mere presence of his dad being home caused him to be more obedient and feel safe. He needed his father and still does to this day. The role of fathers in the home is of such great importance even though our culture says otherwise. Fathers are needed in the home to protect, lead, and love.
Fathers are meant to protect their family both physically and spiritually. Contrary to popular belief, men and women are vastly different. God created us equal in value but with different roles and strengths. He created men to be physically stronger than women. Peter makes this clear in, 1 Peter 3:7 “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life. So that your prayers may not be hindered.” Notice he does not “lord” this strength over her. The husband is meant to live with his wife in an understanding way. As Pastor John Macarthur has expressed, the husband lives in an understanding way by being sensitive to the needs, fears, and feelings of his wife. Husbands and fathers are to use their strength to protect the wife and family.
The father must also guard his wife and family spiritually as stated in Ephesians 5: 25-33. Paul makes it clear in these verses that a husband should desire for the sanctification and holiness of his wife and therefore family. Fathers accomplish this by teaching their families the word of God. (Deuteronomy 6:7) Fathers lead and make decisions under the authority and submission to Christ. A father will lead well if he is submitting to Christ and His Word first. Wives should allow and look to their husbands to lead their families. A godly father will lead with humility; understanding that he may not always have all the answers but he humbly submits and looks to Christ for guidance and direction. The father can lead his family by showing them the example of being broken over sin in their own life and teaching his children to do the same.
How a father loves his wife can have a great impact on a child. Fathers who show affection and care tenderly with their wives promote and encourage intimacy in a home. It’s funny because almost every time my husband shows physical affection to me, the children want to join in. They see the mutual love between us and want to share in it. On the other side of the same coin, fathers also love by disciplining their children. Ephesians 6:4 commands Fathers to not provoke their children but raise them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. The Bible tells us that God disciplines those he loves and chastises every son who he receives (Hebrews 12:6, Psalm 94:12). Fathers should model discipline after God not provoking their children by taking advantage of their authority but teaching them to respect and honor Gods laws and disciplining when they violate Gods law. Fathers love best when they properly emulate Christ and share the good news of salvation.
Men, please do not be discouraged by a culture that tries to emasculate you in every way. Coming from a wife and mother, we need you to be real men. We need you to be God honoring, Christ glorifying men. As Dr. Voddie Baucham said in his book on family shepherds, “It has been said that as goes the family, so goes the world. It can also be said that as goes the father, so goes the family.” Men your role is crucial to the stability and enduring of the family. Without you the family will self-destruct. May you continue to look to Christ as you protect, lead, and love your family.
Rachel is a wife and mother of four young children. She has a love for listening to expository preaching, theology, and doctrine. She desires to make Christ known through her marriage, parenting, and in every word and deed.