His event had been dominated for four decades by the Western Roll, a high-jumping technique that took athletes to new heights - Six foot, eight inches won the gold medal in the 1936 Olympics and Charles Dumas cleared the elusive 7-foot height twenty years later. But at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Dick Fosbury introduced his unconventional Fosbury Flop and won the gold medal clearing 7 foot, 4¼ inches. His technique has dominated the event from that day forward. Dick Fosbury ‘raised the bar’ for high-jumping and new world records, now over eight foot.
On the fathering front, the technique that dominated early in America’s history was agrarian. The bar for fathers was set high as families worked together on farms where faith, skills and trades were intentionally passed on to the next generation. The bar was lowered as the industrial revolution began to offer opportunities that pulled men off the farm and away from home for extended periods of time. The bar fell off the standards in the 1960’s when good intentions to help single-parent homes actually incentivized single-parenting. The charge today is to raise the bar as faithful fathers.
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. – 1Timothy 5:8. Paul’s instruction to Timothy is often construed as financial provision. The bar is set low if fathering is limited to ‘financial provider’. Provide is defined as: “making available for use; making adequate preparation for.” Financial provision is important but in the absence of faith and skills being made available for use, or making adequate preparation for marriage provided through the day-to-day lesson in the home, faith has been denied. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. – Romans 3:23-24. The bad news is that we all fall short by nature. The good news for fathers and families is that the bar can be raised by His grace and for His glory as hearts turn to the Father through the Son. The charge is on to raise the bar on the fathering front in your home, church and community.
Faithful Fathering is a ministry that exists to encourage and equip dads to be faithful fathers and reinvigorate churches on the fathering front. Click HERE to view a short video of how we work to raise the bar for fathering and help dads PASS the BATON well to the next generation. For an overview of how Faithful Fathering can come beside you and your church, click HERE for more information or contact us directly.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and Your example. I confess I have put fathering in the box of ‘financial provider’ and have fallen short of the glory You have intended for my home. Forgive me. As Your representative in family, my heart must be turned to You in order for my heart to be turned to my children. Please let the heart-turning begin this day and help me raise the bar for fathering personally, in the church and in the community. Amen.
A faithful father raises the bar for fathering at home, church & in the community.