In our modern society, the value of a dad in the home has, to a
large degree, been lost. The reason our society and our families are
in such disarray, is because dads are absent in the home. Some
dads, being unwilling to be responsible or afraid of settling down,
have completely walked out on their children. Some dads, being
so consumed with the pursuit of wealth, have allowed work to keep
them out of the home and their children’s life. And some dads, are
so absent and disconnected from their children that he does not and
could not really teach them about faith, Jesus, or the Father. Not
only is the blessing of having a child something to be honored,
something to be treasured, the value of dad in the home to lead his
family cannot be compared (Psalms 127:3; Exodus 20:12).
Throughout the scriptures, God has emphasized the importance and value of dad. Not only are we told to honor dad (Exodus
20:12) but rebellion or mistreatment of dad was worthy of the death penalty (Exodus 21:15; Leviticus 20:9; Deuteronomy 22:18-
21). I used to read these passages as a young man and wonder why God could call for such strict punishment
for those who disobeyed dad. My conclusion was that God wanted
us to value him that much. Dad was so valuable to the home and
society that God protected him with the death penalty. He was
responsibility for teaching his children about God and helping them
to fulfill the law to enter into a covenant relationship
(Leviticus 12:3; Deuteronomy 11:19). So valuable and precious is dad
that God used that relationship to describe his own value to us (Psalms 103:13).
In the New Testament, the imagery is just as strong. God is the
father of who believe and love (Matthew 6:5-8; 10:29-31). One of
the greatest parables of Jesus, the parable of the prodigal son (Luke
15:11-32), was mostly about the love and forgiveness of God as
seen in our dads. This parable helps us understand ourselves, and
just as importantly, it helps us understand our great God.
It seems that God understands something that has been all but lost
in our modern, enlightened, society. In our wisdom and
advancement, we have replaced dad with gifts, with possessions
that could never be as important as dad. We have lost sight of just
how important his role really is to our children, our homes, and our
churches. As one writer said, “the father was truly the linchpin of
the family and society.” Isn’t it time we get back to God’s standard
and value for dad? Isn’t it time that we encourage dads to step up and
be the man God knows he can be? Until we do, we will never truly be successful.
Disobedience to God always equals failure and the role and value
of dad is no exception.