I am writing this for the benefit of all the fathers out there but I will confess that all of this applies to me, as much as it applies to you.
Fatherhood is a God ordained role. This is the truth, whether you believe in God or not. Of course, receiving it as a blessing from God means that you will take it seriously and consider it an honour, a privilege, to be a husband and a father.
Yes, there are duties and responsibilities that come with this role and many fathers out there do their best to fulfill them, but reality is that without the love of God the Heavenly Father dwelling in you, you as an early father will try to do everything in your own strength and eventually, you will have nothing left of that limited storehouse.
As you begin to reach the end of yourself, your love (your limited/earthly understanding of what love is) for your wife and children will begin to grow cold. The resentment of always having to focus on everyone else but yourself that has been building up over the years, will also reach a tipping point.
In the end, your “happy family” will be all but a memory. In it’s place, brokenness and a lifetime of pain and regret. I don’t have to go into the details here because all one has to do is look around to see that separation and divorce is all too common. Husbands and wives “fall out of love” or can’t see eye to eye or come to the conclusion that it was all for the kids and once the kids are gone, it’s OK to call it quits.
If you are going through this or have gone through this, I am not belittling your pain, nor am I being callous. Believe me when I say that I write this with grief and sorrow in my heart, not just for you or your wife, but for your kids as well. I cannot begin to imagine the pain this causes, but I have witnessed others go through it.
Some of you may think that it will never happen to you. Where true love is absent, anything can happen.
What does God have to do with anything?
I have mentioned love a few times so far. I have gone as far as to say that people who don’t know God, don’t really know what love is.
Allow me to share from the Bible, specifically, 1 John 4:7-11, to explain what I mean.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Essentially, what is being said here is that without God, we are incapable of loving.
God is love and has expressed love in the ultimate way by sending His Son Jesus to the cross for our sins.
It is safe to say that almost everyone is familiar with the story of Adam and Eve, the first relationship, the first marriage.
God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, gave them total freedom, but warned them to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan deceives them and convinces Eve to take a bite and Adam follows suit. Disobeying God was the original sin and God justly punished us and since then, we have all been sinners.
While our sins deserved death and meant eternal separation from God, He didn’t want to be separated from us. He had a plan, a Way to offer forgiveness, cleansing and redemption.
This plan is best summarised in one of, if not the most famous verse in all of the Bible, John 3:16, which says this:
[box] For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.[/box]
The Bible isn’t a fairy tale conceived by desperate or foolish men wanting to make up something that they can escape into or use as a crutch to help them carry on in life. If you have believed or have been taught to/told to believe that the Bible is not real, then I am sorry to say that you are mistaken and that if this mistake or misunderstanding is not corrected, it will not only cost you your marriage, but your life, both here and for all eternity.
I encourage you, invite you, implore you to read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), with a humble heart and an open mind. Please don’t let your pride or ego get in the way.
Of course, don’t just stop there. Please read all of the New Testament and get to know who Jesus is, both man and God, one who is fully familiar with what it means to be a human being and willingly died for us so that we can be right with God.
I also encourage you to watch these talks by John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University.
Jesus – the Way, the Truth, the Life
It is one thing to believe in “God”, it is another thing to know God by entering into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus didn’t just make a way for us to get right with God and spend eternity in Heaven with Him, He also taught us how to live life here on earth.
He not only gave us the instructions to do so (in the Bible, the written Word of God), by sending the Holy Spirit (the third person of the Godhead), He also gave us a means to live the way He wants us to live, the way we are meant to live.
This is important because as I have stated earlier, we can’t do things in our own strength.
I could go on and on about Jesus, but unless you open the Bible and read for yourself with a humble heart, setting aside pride, ego and your own earthly understanding or skepticism, you will not gain anything from the Bible.
In the Bible, it is written that God opposes the proud, but gives grace (shows favor) to the humble. (Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6).
We have all sinned against God and need a Savior and this is why you and I both need Jesus.
You can live your whole life denying Him, opposing Him or rejecting Him, but it doesn’t make Him anything less than all that He is, nor does it change God’s righteous judgement that awaits you.
God’s judgement you ask?
In the Bible, it is written in Romans 3:23-24,
[box] for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.[/box]
Again, in Romans 6:23, it is written
[box] For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.[/box]
From these and other verses in the Bible, it is clear that the punishment for disobeying God is death, but in Christ, we have the way to be saved.
If you are still wanting to know more about Jesus, after you have read the Gospels (and keep reading them if you can), watch this video by a prominent Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias.
In the end, only the Holy Spirit can truly help you understand who Jesus is.
In Revelations 3:20, Jesus says this:
[box] Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.[/box]
If you have never known Jesus, He is knocking at the door to your heart right now. You have to open the door and let Him in. Even though He is God and has the power to barge in, He won’t. He patiently knocks.
To give you an idea of the love that Jesus can bring to life in you, have a look at what 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says:
[box] Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;[/box]
Can you honestly tell me that this is the kind of love you have for your wife and kids, let alone others?
I also mentioned how Jesus has sent us the Holy Spirit to help us live a life that honors God.
The fruits of this Holy Spirit working in us is listed in Galatians 5:22-23 –
[box] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.[/box]
Without God, it is impossible to be a man like this, but Jesus had this to say in Matthew 19:26 –
[box] With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.[/box]
Everything we need, in Jesus, is freely available. All you have to do is receive this and allow God to begin that work in your life.
If you ask my wife and anyone else who knows me, anything good they have to say about me, is all because of the work Jesus began in me and continues to do today, through the Holy Spirit.
For Fathers Day this year, my wife shared this on her Facebook page.
This is ONLY because of Christ, as I shared in my response to that status.
Jesus can do this and so much more in your life, just as He has done and will continue to do in mine.
What are you waiting for?
You can read long posts like this and you can watch many YouTube videos and you can even read the Bible in an academic fashion, but without God working in you, you cannot be saved.
And without Jesus, you will remain in your sin, with your life on earth incomplete and lacking in many ways and your eternal life in everlasting darkness.
I know that what I have written is harsh but I don’t want to sugarcoat anything and give you a false sense of peace or comfort.
Pride and selfishness can be deadly. Many don’t realise this until it’s too late and the damage has been done.
You have a choice to keep doing it your way OR you can drop the act, humble yourself before God and ask Jesus for help.
Happy Father Day.
God bless you.