I know that sounds a bit weird, don't read it to fast.
Sometime around 2007 or 2008 I first heard the phrase "Owning a piano, does not make you a pianist."
The premise is that, with the piano being one of the more difficult instruments to learn, you need constant practice, hard work, dedication, and a passion for it, to master the instrument.
In the same way, then we could say to men, "Having a child does not make you a father."
The media has in the past weeks highlighted the breakdown of society as we know it. Naturally, they have given it a different narrative, blaming non-existent enemies of liberal society. This is not new though, and if your eyes have been open, you would have seen this coming for the past 20 years.
Ironically, the very issues modern society brands as oppressive constructs of an ancient cultural system that has no place in modern society, are the only issues that can fix our broken world.
An absent God, and absent Fathers.
Let's look at Fathers first. A Bible verse that I believe every parent should read and meditate on regularly is Proverbs 22:6: "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."
Kids are wonderful at mimicking us. Monkey see monkey do right? The old saying "The apple does not fall far from the tree", I believe, is as a consequence of obedience (or disobedience) to Proverbs 22:6.
If you as a father... wait let's rephrase that. If you as a humanoid who managed to procreate are absent, what will your offspring learn? Who will they learn from? School? Society? Social Media? God Help Us!
If you want to wear the badge of a father, you need to be PRESENT. You need to show up, physically, emotionally, and spiritually to guide and teach your children. The countless broken families in our world and the demands placed on parents by an over-demanding work culture means that it is not always possible to be at every school event, birthday, or scraped knee.
In no way should that be seen as an escape clause to your fatherly duties. On the contrary, it should be a call to an increased effort to be present. It should demand from you that the example you set for your children, the words you speak, the lessons you teach, does in fact "Start your children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."
Earlier this week while waiting to meet a client, I met a semi-homeless guy, Warren. He was hungry so I bought us some lunch and we sat on the sidewalk enjoying the sun and the meal.
We ate and spoke for almost two hours.
Warren grew up without his father present. He only met him late in his 30's after his mother passed, and it was easy to see where a present father could have set this young man's life on a totally different trajectory.
For the past three decades liberals (and I am not limiting this to the USA, liberal thinkers - a nice paradox - are everywhere) have forced God out of schools, and out of society.
With a flawed argument that Christians were indoctrinating kids and forcing them against their will to bow to God, Bible study and prayer time are now non-existent in almost all public schools.
With the exception perhaps of the Crusades of the 11th and 12th centuries, Christians do not force anyone to follow their faith. Christians share God's word, and people get to make a choice to follow or not. God gives us the choice to follow Him. So the argument of forced indoctrination is flawed at its inception. If anything, God through The Bible, teaches us, tolerance, love, and peace.
The 10 Commandments we learn about in the Old Testament have been labeled oppressive man-made rules. If we remove 4 of the commandments that do not deal with social conduct we are left with very basic, common-sense rules to live by. Some liberals under the guise of social justice claim that even the commandment "Though shall not steal" is oppressive and should be more objective.
In New Testament, which removes us from "under the law" and puts us under Grace, only gives us two rules to live by. 1. Love God, and 2. Love your neighbour.
Since most of us understand some of the basic properties of love as respecting, caring, nurturing, protecting, helping, that should really not be a bad thing to teach in schools. Or is it?
The Bible and God are removed because it speaks against what liberals want everyone to accept. Their ways of thinking, and their constructs of what the ideal society should be.
Ok, that one got away from me a bit... We will discuss Marxism in another post :-)
The gist of it is that we need to teach morals that can uphold our communities and our country in tough times, and the best (I could argue the only) way to do that is bring back Godly teaching and principles from our heavenly Father.
If our schools will not instruct our children in Godly ways, then it is 100% up to us, as fathers and father figures to make sure that our children are raised on a strong and solid BIBLE BASED foundation.
Dads, it all starts at home, with YOU. If the schools do not teach our children about God the way we were taught, with a clear concept of right and wrong, then we must take up that mantle, and stand on what is right, and righteous. We need to be strong enough to let our Godly values dictate how we raise our children, and not worldly values and social influences.