Theology Thursday: Fatherhood
I was watching a television show that was created as a "mockumentary" meaning that the characters were being filmed and interviewed within the show like it was a documentary while it was actually just a sitcom.
Within the "documentary" section, the question was asked, "What makes a good father?" The characters thought and thought in the beginning, and then the show took place with viewers being able to see a day in the life of all 4 dads that star in the show.
It is a comedy, so you saw some funny things, some mistakes they made, and some moments when they did the exact right thing at the right time. It was pretty well written and it was funny and interesting at the same time.
At the end of the show, the dads sat down to be interviewed again, and the oldest of them (a grandfather with a young son still at home) had the last and "wisest" answer to the question. This is not a direct quote, but it is pretty close:
"At the end of the day, about 90% of being a Dad, is just showing up."
I can imagine the writers thinking how perfect that line was and I can imagine Dads everywhere nodding their heads and thinking, "That's exactly right, we just have to show up."
This is not Biblical and it is not true. Being a Dad is not 90% just showing up, that's ridiculous and it sets the bar far too low. Do you know what being a Dad is really about?
- Loving your kids more than yourself.
- Praying for your kids.
- Having fun with your kids.
- Being there for your kids no matter what.
- Disciplining your kids and Discipling your kids.
- Teaching them to make hard decisions and to have difficult conversations.
- Sacrificing your own pursuits for your children but also teaching them to be passionate about the things they care about by being passionate yourself.
- Leading your wife and your family well.
- Helping around the house and making your children do the same.
- Teaching your kids to be humble and to sacrifice their own desires for others by modeling this behavior and by putting them in situations to do it.
- Most of all, being a Dad is pointing your children to Christ no matter what. Teaching them that Jesus is the most important thing in the world and that their desire for Jesus should exceed every other thought and drive every other desire that they have.
The Bible is full of ways that we, as fathers and husbands, are to care for and serve our children. It is absolutely not 90% just showing up. If we are pointing them to school more than Jesus, if we are pushing them to the baseball field more than church, and if want them to be more well-rounded than Jesus-focused then we are missing the mark.
Ephesians 6:4 says, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."