One man that had grown up below the poverty line, focused on one dimension of his responsibilities as a dad, to be a good financial provider for his family. After all, there was a mortgage to meet, healthcare to provide and future school expenses to consider. Responsibility to provide financially for family can justifiably dominate a dad’s mindset.
Responsibility is defined as: the state of having a duty to deal with something (Webster’s Dictionary). As dads, there is a lot to “deal with” – keeping the marriage relationship healthy and well; making sure financial commitments are met; and, helping the kids develop as they should physically, emotionally and spiritually, to name a few. The natural tendency is to put the lion’s share of energy on financial provision for the family but that can lead to passivity in other areas of responsibility on the home front.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. – Genesis 3:6. “…her husband, who was with her” – Adam's responsibilities were straightforward. He was given a work to do – tend the garden (Gen.2:15); a will to obey – he was given specific instructions to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (vs.17); and, a woman to love – it is not good for man to be alone (vs.18). Adam allowed himself to be distracted and failed on all three fronts. The book of Deuteronomy provides the clear responsibilities for dads - “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”- Deuteronomy 6:6-7. The work of a father involves the raising of a Godly generation by living under the word of God, leading by example in obeying His commandments, and loving the woman he has been blessed with in marriage. By stepping into these responsibilities, every dad can become the faithful father He is called to be.
Both Adam and Jesus were given a work to do, a will to obey and a woman to love. Adam failed to step into the responsibility given him on each front. In stark contrast, Jesus stepped into the responsibilities given Him. He did the work to put death to sin; He obeyed the Father all the way to point of death, even death on a cross; and, He loved the woman he was given, the Church, through His selfless, sacrificial life. Jesus’ example is the One to emulate. Dads are charged to lead as Jesus led, obey the word of God, and love selflessly and sacrificially.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and for your example. I confess that I have focused on financial provision at the expense of other dimensions of provision You expect me to fulfill as a dad. Forgive me. It is only through understanding, and stepping into the responsibilities that go with representing You in family that I can become the dad my children need. Grant me discernment to do the work that needs to be done, obey Your word every step of the way and love selflessly and sacrificially in marriage and family. That is the dad You call me to be and that is the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father steps into responsibilities to do the work, obey and love.