There was such excitement when she learned she was pregnant and shared the news with her husband. They celebrated the blessing of the miracle, a child developing in her womb. While a bit anxious about the responsibility before them, both were joyful about the prospect of becoming mom and dad. Life is good.
Life is also easy to take for granted. When abortion was legalized in 1973, I felt it was a sad day for America. The law was justified in part to move abortions out of the shadows and into clinics that would be safer for women undergoing the procedure. As I recall, the mantra was to make abortions legal, safe and rare. Over the past number of years, and especially the past couple of weeks under the bright lights of the New York and Virginia state legislatures, it is clear that abortion is not rare and it is not limited any longer to the first trimester of pregnancy. In fact, it has essentially crossed whatever line is left to infanticide. The lesson learned is that when respect for life is compromised, God’s plan and design are compromised, and things can get ugly.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. – Ephesians 1:1-2. Christ, in His walk on this earth, granted all an opportunity to be “imitators of God,” to return to the design our Father had intended for mankind. When Paul told the Romans, “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23), it was not a license to keep on sinning. It was a charge to stop sinning and to conform to the image of Christ. The call was to be more like Christ every day, to be closer to God’s design for us – “…a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. … for the sake of raising godly offspring.” Gen.2:24 & Mal.2:15. When God’s plan is honored, life is good.
Approaches to ministry are often characterized as ‘upstream’ or ‘downstream’. Upstream ministry works to mitigate issues before consequences are incurred. Downstream ministry works to help those trying to tread the water of consequences incurred. Faithful Fathering is an ‘upstream’ ministry. God’s design for dads and moms is the ‘upstream’ answer to the abortion issue – When sex is kept in the context of marriage and life is welcomed into the world by a mother and father, the foundation for a healthy society is affirmed. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure” (Heb.13:4). When men accept responsibility to lead by example in marriage and dads teach sons how to treat young women, life is good.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your design of marriage and family. Too often I have allowed cultural views of sex outside of marriage broadcast through various media to flow into my mind, home and family. The consequences can have a generational impact. Forgive me. Help me stand firm in Your word and in Your love to honor Your design through the marriage and family I am blessed with. Strengthen me to lead by example in respecting my wife and all women in a way that young men will want to follow. Enable me to PASS the BATON of faith and family well to the next generation. Amen.
A faithful father honors God’s design and life is good as a husband and father.