William Wilberforce turned his life around as an Evangelical Christian in 1790. Already in Parliament, he began what proved to be an 18-year mission to abolish slavery in Great Britain. He was part of the Clapham Sect that worked to raise awareness of a number of social issues including the atrocities committed against mankind in the slave trade and he consistently introduced unpopular anti-slavery motions in Parliament. In 1807, the slave trade was finally abolished but it would be another 26 years, eight years after he retired, before an act was passed giving freedom to all slaves in the British Empire. William Wilberforce stepped up and persevered with perspective.
Today, it seems perseverance is focused more on the immediate. We have moved from an ‘ASAP’ (As soon as possible) generation to an ‘IINS’ (Immediately if not sooner) generation. The associated busy-ness can keep a dad in a reactionary mode where there is no time to tune in to longer-term issues. His perspective is inhibited and a generation is in the balance.
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law. – Proverbs 29:18. The vision provided by God is the Bible, an absolute to live under for a lifetime. In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes, “God will continually say to you, ‘Friend, come up even higher.’ There is also a continuing rule in temptation which calls you to go higher; Both God & Satan use the strategy of elevation, but Satan uses it in temptation and the effect is quite different – your life becomes a spiritual acrobatic performance high atop a steeple. You cling to it, trying to maintain your balance and daring not to move. But when God elevates you by His grace into heavenly places, you find a vast plateau where you can move about with ease.” Perseverance under the word of God provides perspective for life on the vast plateau.
There were a number of social issues percolating in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Great Britain – Slave trade, child-labor issues along with rampant alcoholism and sexual immorality. William Wilberforce stepped up as a leader with a vision for a better society. Today in these United States, we face a number of social issues as well – Sex trade and trafficking, marriage failing 40% of the time, rampant addiction to legal and illegal drugs and sexual immorality. As leaders in family and the church, dads are called to step up with a better vision for society, to persevere with a perspective that glorifies the Father.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for being our Heavenly Father! By Your grace and for Your glory I pray for the personal transformation of dads to be faithful fathers – dads that prioritize physical presence, engage emotionally and lead spiritually by example. I also pray that through core groups of faithful fathers, a corporate reformation of the churches addressing the fathering front would ensue that would resource and train men to be the dads the next generation needs. The battle is real. Lives are being lost eternally as the arrows of the evil one target men, marriages and family. Lift up a generation of dads that will persevere with a perspective that glorifies You in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.
A faithful father perseveres with a perspective that glorifies the Father.