“For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; …” (1 Corinthians 4:15 NKJ).
It is one thing to be a teacher, quite another to be a father. A teacher can lecture, discipline, and share some important principles of life, but a father is so much more. A father may instruct, but he also must listen. A father may discipline, but he also must show love and mercy. He may teach principles of life, but he also must lead by example.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians with the concern that they had many instructors, yet not so many fathers. He observed that there were plenty of volunteers to teach lessons and lecture facts. What was missing was the more intimate leadership role of fathers in the church.
As it was in the Corinthian church so it may be in the modern church that there are not so many that are willing to be fathers to young believers. The condition of the absent father in the church is a reflection of the same condition in the culture. All too often the mom is left with the responsibility of child rearing and the father skips off to do his own thing. We need more fathers in the home and in the church, men who are willing to step in to assist in the mentoring of young children and ready to accept the responsibility of caring leadership roles in spiritual areas.
That being said let us also consider that many godly men are fulfilling responsible roles of leadership in the church. Thankfully, there are those that have resisted the trend of cultural shift and dedicated themselves to their families and their churches providing valuable leadership for children and young believers. Paul said there were “not many fathers,” but by implication there were some, men who rose to the challenge and led with conviction. In the midst of changing mores and decaying moral climate, may there be a new breed of men who are strong in faith and full of the Spirit to rise to the challenge of spiritual leadership.
The best way to resist the trend of negative drift is through positive affirmation of those who are examples of good virtue. On this Father’s Day and every other day of the year let us show honor to the godly men that are leading the way, men who are committed to traditional values of marriage, lovingly leading in secure families, and depending on God for strength of faith and character.