“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 / ESV)
A Passionate Plea to Fathers: The Need for Men to Lead and Fight for their Children
God has given men an incredible mantle to carry and when we fail to carry the mantle there are disastrous consequences. Take a look at some of these stats:
- 85% of all youths sitting in prison grew up in fatherless homes.
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
- 85% of all children who exhibit behavioral disorders are from fatherless homes.
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
- 80% of rapists were raised in fatherless homes.
- 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers are from fatherless homes.
In short, here are why fathers are so important. Fatherless children are:
- Nine times more likely to drop out of high school.
- Fourteen times more likely to commit rape.
- Twenty times more likely to have behavioral disorders.
- Five times more likely to commit suicide.
- Thirty-two times more likely to run away.
- Ten times more likely to abuse chemical substances.
- Twenty times more likely to end up in prison.
What do these facts tell us? It is not the quality of youth group, church, the size of your house, how luxurious your car is or school kids go to that determines the success of your kid, but rather the presence (or absence) of a father in the child’s life. In my years as a Student Pastor the majority of youth that walked away from their faith after high school experienced some type of family trauma. Of those kids that walked away, the majority experienced something specifically tied to their fathers. A dad’s influence is enormous.
1. A Dad’s Influence is Enormous and You Must Lead Your Family Spiritually
“He commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children.” (Psalm 78:5-6)
Whether you have a son or daughter your spiritual instructions and admonitions have an incredible impact on the success of your family. Have you ever considered that there is more to your role in your family than just putting food on the table and paying the bills? Our culture places a high value on affluence and there is no shortage of places to spend money. I see many men who spend 50-60 hours per week in the office, travel, hunt and fish, miss most meals at home, miss school performances, and sporting events. Dad’s are busier than ever!
The Bible does indeed place a high value on work and supporting your family (1 Timothy 5:8), but the Bible places an even higher priority on meeting the spiritual needs of your family. More than providing your kids with the latest iPhone or best clothes, the best gift you can ever give your kids is a home that seeks to glorify the sovereign King of the universe, where the Bible is read, and where passionate prayer resounds from the dining room to the bedroom.
2. A Dad’s Influence is Enormous and You Must Fight a Battle for Your Children and the Next Generations
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. – John 10:10
Every day the forces of darkness, Satan himself, is hurling fiery darts at dads. Men are tempted be king a work and not at home, they are tempted to pursue women in pornography or at the workplace, they are tempted to spend more hours watching football than on the floor playing with their kids. John Owen says, “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” There is a spiritual battle taking place for your soul and for your family. Will you fight the battle? Will you stand and fight for your sons and daughters, for your grandkids, for your great grandkids? There is also a battle for the souls of your children and now is not the time to sit on the couch and just wait to see how everything pans out. Our enemy is seeking to take an entire generation captive and destroy us in the meantime. We have an all-powerful, sovereign King who will fight for us, but we might fight too. Fight your children. Fight for your soul.
3. A Dad’s Influence is Enormous and You Can Start New Today
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor. 12:9 / ESV)
Men, whether you are a Rockstar dad or you have blown it, we need the grace of God in our life. The Bible is filled with examples of men who have royally blown it (David, Moses, Paul), but God’s grace is so much bigger than our sin and our failures. God loves your children more than you do. God loves us so much that He sent His son to dies on the cross for our sins. What matters the most is not whether your kids grow up, go to a good college, get a good, job, make a lot of money, and have a nice house. What matters most is whether your children will know Jesus. I plead with you to lead your family spiritually, to fight the battle of sin, and to fight for your children and for the generations to come. God will give you what you need to lead your family. Will you ask God to forgive you? Go to Him.