“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Unfortunately, we have fallen short in this ethereal journey. We are called to be the leaders, the examples by which a lost world will be transformed. According to 1 Peter 2:9, we are God’s special and chosen people, yet we have hardly distinguished ourselves from unbelievers. When I say that we are to distinguish ourselves from unbelievers, I do not mean that it should be done in a condescending fashion, but in a way that illuminates and reveals the life of a true Christian. A Christian’s integrity must stand as a beacon light to guide those who are lost to Christ. However; as long as the Christian’s position and stance is obscure, he will continue to relinquish his position as a leader and be rendered ineffective.
To be lugubriously honest, the world is exhausted from the lip service of Christians; what they need is a blueprint that is proven. They need to be able to look at the life of a believer and see the difference a relationship with God makes. Isaiah 29:13 warns against honoring God with lip service only and not from the heart.
“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their heats are far from me. Their worship of me is made up of rules taught by men.” (Isaiah 29:13)
When we honor God from the heart, we relinquish our selfishness and surrender to His will for our lives. God’s will for our lives in no way involves fathering and abandoning our progeny. God feels so strongly about fatherhood that he uses it as a point of reference in describing His relationship to us.
As God reveals Himself as the Father, we find He is consistent in His love, always present and an incessant provider. On more than one occasion in the Bible, God promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us; He promises when all others fail us, He will take care of us. In God, we find the perfect example of fatherhood: dependability, veracity, consistency, and most importantly, unconditional love. Yet, in all that God has provided in the way of a blueprint to fatherhood, we as men have come so very short in providing the love, stability and security our children need in order to fully blossom into the extraordinary young women and men God intended them to be.
We are rapidly approaching a time when an active and present father will be an anomaly instead of a normality. Instead of being a normal expectation, a visible father has become an item on many children’s wish list.
The Clarion is sounding but we have yet to respond. All the signs are distinctly visible; however, our lack of spiritual acumen has rendered us incapable to exact change. Daily we are confronted with the vociferous outcry of a lost generation in search of leaders, a generation looking for confirmation that they are loved and valued. They are a generation that in many ways has broken through barriers that the generations before them found impenetrable. They have been able to move past sociological malignancies such as socioeconomic classation and even denominationalism, yet they have been handicapped by a void left by an absentee father. Fathers are supposed to be examples, affirmers, positive label givers and a source of strength to their children, but somewhere along the journey we have lost our way.  We have become engrossed in self-fulfillment and self-gratification.
We have adopted a secular philosophy of relative ethics, morality, and righteousness. We have decided to live our lives as we so desire and totally disregard the admonishment of God’s Word; as it clearly states: “Do not be conformed to this world…” (Romans 12:2)
Yes, many of us, ourselves, grew up without the love of our fathers. Many of us bear the scars of abandonment and neglect; however, we cannot use that as an excuse to lethargically roam through life ignoring our paternal, filial, and spiritual responsibilities. If anything, the painful experience of growing up in the absence of a father should serve to motivate each of us to take every step necessary to insure that our children know personally, the touch and love of a father.
A CHALLENGE
I personally extend a challenge to every man, especially every Christian man, to not only be the father your children deserve, but I challenge you to stand in the gap of the missing fathers in your periphery. To my Christian sisters, on behalf of every man who has hurt you, every man who has left you with the responsibility of raising your child alone; to every woman who has had a man decimate their dreams; to every woman who’s scarred emotionally, physically, or spiritually, I personally apologize. You too, have been scarred, disappointed, disenchanted, and in many ways cheated. You have been deterred from fulfilling your own destiny, but the time has come to rise up and become all that God designed you to be. Also, to every person who has had to struggle to overcome the pain and disappointment of growing up without a father, I extend an invitation to stand tall and press toward your destiny and purpose God ordained for you. In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, Paul says, “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” In essence, the enemy has perniciously attacked you from every angle, but in paraphrasing Paul, you’ve been bruised, but not broken. As vehement as the pain may be, you have the power within to overcome this and every trial you will face in this life.
It is time to reverse the generational curse of fatherhood in absentia. It is time for men to resume their rightful and ordained positions as leaders, providers and protectors. It is time to put self aside and allow Christ to live through us. Proverbs 13:22 says, “A good father leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” What type of inheritance is this generation leaving the subsequent generations? What will our grandchildren inherit from us? A superficial consideration of the aforementioned question may lead some to consider the bequeathment of material and financial assets, but it is my personal belief that the most impressionable and lasting inheritance a man can leave his descendants is his personal legacy. The question then simply becomes what have you done to positively impact your home, your family, your community, or society as a whole?
One of the most awesome legacies a man can leave is that of a good father. In fact, if men would determine within themselves to reverse the trend of abandoning their children and become pillars of strength in their communities, the spiritual, moral, and sociological impact would be astronomical. I call on every man to stand and be the man he was designed and created to be.
Bishop Rick Wallace
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