Ever since the late 1950s when movies like Rebel Without a Cause began to portray fathers as bumbling idiots in aprons, the prestige and honor of the father in our culture has steadily eroded. One look at fathers in almost any popular television show today will prove this to be the case. A position and role of great honor and value has, in our day, come to mean nothing.
In Christian communities and in our schools, fathers still retain some degree of dignity of course, but even in these contexts the damage has been done. Fathers have accepted that their role is mainly to make the money that provides for the standard of living for the family and then watch football games on weekends. Actively teaching their children, spending time with sons and daughters, and showing them about how the world and life really works are not common to many fathers in our day. But they should be!
Earthly fathers derive their worth and value from our heavenly Father who is a life-giver, a provider, a protector, and a God of abundance who loves to bless His people. Like God, fathers give life to their families and provide the necessary conditions for everyone under their authority to flourish. Their main responsibilities are to love, encourage, and motivate their wives and children and provide the context and means for their freedom and success. At home, they are spiritual leaders, teachers, coaches, and mentors to their children. They are counselors and guides, men of faith and valor who love their wives and sacrifice for their children instead of living for themselves and expecting everyone to serve them.
A strong, godly, loving father wields tremendous power in the world. That is because he is in the business of raising up sons and daughters who are secure in who they are, accepting of themselves, confident in their gifts, talents, and design, and eager to pursue the high calling of God upon their lives.