July 22, 2015
“Who’s your daddy?”
Back in ’68, Zombies weren’t starring in prime-time television (The Walking Dead); instead, they were a British rock band with the hit, Time of the Season. Their lyric asked the question: “Who’s your daddy? Is he rich like me?” Their question has been abbreviated, and is still asked as a rhetorical question in a culture looking for pejorative ways to dismiss peers…
In modern America, the culture has dismissed fathers as unnecessary donors who can be replaced by an archived sample with no contribution beyond the 23 chromosomes an egg needs to propagate. With dads who missed the boats getting more headlines than the ones who went down with the ship, it’s no wonder that fatherhood has taken a major hit in modern thinking.
Back in the Zombies era, dads were still heroes; today, a dad must be complicit when Dylann Roof kills nine people in a Charleston church. Franklin Roof is fearing for his life after phone messages threatening his life. If the 21-year-old shooter goes off the rails, his father must be responsible, right?
Who’s your daddy? My friend Greg Laurie’s mother had seven husbands. Greg’s biological father was in that line of succession, but the man whose last name Greg chose was the dad, not the DNA. Anyone can contribute a specimen; the decision to deliver fathering is much more challenging. Biology is over in a moment; a blessing has the power to last a lifetime.
The New Testament epistles are an important portion of the inspired Word of God: their principle focus is to instruct Christians in living-out their faith in a manner that will demonstrate God to a watching world. In those books – 21 in all – there is not a single verse telling a mother what to do with her children. Does that mean that God has no unique intention for Christian parenting?
Here is God’s important directive: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4, NASB).
By God’s design, a father is mission-critical in the family system, not an optional player whose contribution is spurious.
The Heavenly Father demonstrates what He directs: He never provokes anger among His children, so earthly dads should do the same. And, in the positive provision of parenting, there are two facets critical to success: discipline and instruction. Discipline sets the boundaries, and enforces them; instruction provides the insight and encouragement to mature into the full expression of God’s creative genius in each of His earthly children. Read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation: discipline and instruction form the outline in which God’s timeless guidebook delivers truth.
In America today, one out of three children live in fatherless homes. Choose your issue: poverty, behavioral problems, health, crime, incarceration, sexual activity and teen pregnancy, child abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, obesity, education: there is a direct link between a present and active father and the best side of each of these crises (check it out: fatherhood.org/father-absence-statistics).
Ed McGlasson is a good friend – former NFL lineman, local church pastor, graduate of The Master’s Program – and a dad who gets it, and helps other guys get it as well. His Kingdom Calling focuses on the father factor in America, and has never been more important than it is today.
For many of our generation – men and women alike – there’s a dad-hole in our emotional fabric that only God can stitch closed. For dads with kids today, figuring out how to deliver healthy sons and daughters into their God-designed futures takes more than we learned in our families of origin.
Check out Ed’s provisions – books and blog – at edtandymcglasson.org.
Who’s your daddy? He’s in heaven, and you’ve got all you need – from Him – for life!