"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being ROOTED and grounded in LOVE, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the LOVE of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

~Ephesians 3:14-21

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Consequences of the Fatherless

"And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” - Joshua 24:15

Reading through the book, The Resolution for Men, from the creators of the movie Courageous, the authors, Kendrick and Alcorn, challenge fathers and men all over the world to courageously take a stand and live their lives for what matters most. Challenging them to fulfill their God given responsibilities and to live with faith and integrity. To acknowledge who they desire to be as a man and the priceless influence they have on the next generation. (The Resolution of Men, pg. 4)

As we walk the streets here in Peru, we see many single mothers holding onto their children, and like we see in the United States, families broken and no fathers to be found. From one culture to the next, we see this increase of fatherless homes, leaving the wives to take the responsibility of nurturing and providing for their children. "Too many men sadly waster their lives. They don't really know the God they claim to worship and have not ultimately concluded what they are living for. Halfhearted and indecisive, they spiritually wander through life in a fog of confusion and apathy. They can tell you what you're doing this weekend, but they have no clue about their purpose in life or in eternity. As a result, they go through the motions day after day, wasting most of their time on trivial matters." (pg. 1-2)

Unfortunately, the effects on the family and the children are horrifying. One man's decision to walk away from his God given role and responsibility to train and teach their children, to lead their family spiritually, generates major consequences for their children and the outlook on their future. "They don't realize how negatively their wives and children are affected by their lack of spiritual direction and leadership." (pg.2) In fact, children are faced with pressures of using drugs and alcohol, dropping out of school, and higher rates of suicide. "Boys are more likely are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens." (www.fathers.com The Consequences of Fatherlessness) 

"Sadly the majority of kids today are forsaking their church and faith after they graduate from high school. This is primarily the result of poor fathering. When dads lead spiritually, studies suggest that kids are up to twenty times more likely to stay in church longterm than when moms are the spiritual leaders at home." (The Resolution of Men, pg. 77)

But with Jesus Christ, there is always HOPE. Hope for all of us to step back from our own earthly desires and self-centered lives that we unfortunately have fallen prey to following. Asking God to forgive us of our selfish desires, repent (turning from this sinful lifestyle), and making a decision today to FOLLOW CHRIST. Walk as Jesus walked, and through the grace and strength we gain from only Him, transform our lives, surrender our all to HIM, and follow God's design for marriage and the family. 

"Throughout history, men who lived incredible lives and left a great legacies did it intentionally. They knew that men do not stumble upon integrity or accidentally find themselves being faithful to God. Passivity merely leads to futility. A man cannot be passive about what Scriptures tells him to do for his family and expect to be found faithful to God in the end. He must see the spiritual eyes and realize that future generations are directly impacted by his daily decisions." (pg.3) The reality is, most men will not choose to step up, most men will continue to live their lives selfishly considering themselves before all others. So what do we do? We still step up, we lead and mentor other fatherless children and youth. Praying that God will use our lives to help draw this young generation closer to Christ. We pray and ask God for guidance on how to lead and help give this next generation the love and biblical training that that they deserve. Orphanages all over the world are full of God's children, with many who have been forgotten by their biological parents or saved by some young women's decision not to abort her baby. Streets and neighborhoods are full of young children and teenagers, from broken homes or who have been neglected or beaten by their fathers, helplessly searching for acceptance and seeking love in all the wrong places. 

"But there are some men who, regardless of the mistakes we've made in the past, regardless of what our fathers did not do for us, will give the strength of our arms and the rest of our days to loving God with all that we are and to teach our children to do the same - and whenever possible, to love and mentor others who have no father in their lives but who desperately need help and direction." (pg.249)

"Even if your kids are grown and gone, it's never too late to reach out to them and become a positive influence in their lives by praying, encouraging, counseling, and cheering them on. Until a man dies, his powerful position as a father and a grandfather still lives on." (pg.77)


No comments:

Post a Comment