Fathers Are Essential
Fathers are so essential, and their priority so foundational, that in both the Hebrew and Aramaic languages, the first word, is “Ab” = father. You will find it first, literally the number 1, in your lexicons and concordances. (Go ahead, pull out your Strong’s concordance & see.) But fathers are not only essential in languages, fathers are essential to healthy, functioning societies.
According to the research, from birth, even prenatal birth, involved fathers are shown to produce emotionally secure children. (1) Active and nurturing fathering is associated with better verbal skills, intellectual functions and academic achievements. (2) In a majority of studies, there is no question that involved fathers do play a crucial role in cognitive, behavioral, and general health and well being areas of a child’s life. (3)
It should come then, as no surprise to us that God’s design for dad’s influence in their family is one of his highest priorities. And yet, as I was recently reading in the first chapter of the book of Numbers (the 4th book in the Bible), I was surprised to find a whopping 17 times (in only 45 verses) the phrase – “by their father’s houses”. Let me show you how the whole book and chapter 1 begins-
” The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai…saying…”Numbers 1:1 ESV
The book starts with GOD SPEAKING (in the wilderness) and telling (Moses) something. My friend, when God speaks, we would be wise to listen, every single time. So God is speaking… what is He saying?
“Take a census.. by their father’s houses…every father and male… head to head…”Numbers 1:2,5,18,20,22,24,26,28,30,32,34, 36,38,40,42,44,45
God is counting the fathers. God is counting on fathers.
He is counting the father’s households. He wants every father counted, and every male in each father’s family counted. Now I know that this is a military census, but do you really believe that is all it is? For as I read and reread this chapter, I heard God clearly say I AM COUNTING THE FATHERS. I am holding fathers to account.
You see, in God’s eyes, it all begins with the fathers. God’s priority is on fathers, families, and fatherlessness. Why? Because God is our EVERLASTING FATHER, and the father of all the families of the Earth. He is Our Father in heaven.
Do you think it is a coincidence that fatherhood and male identities and role models are under attack? Positive, male, role models develop positive gender-role characteristics. (4) The casting off of those positive, male characteristics and fatherhood identities erode all civilizations that succomb to them.
The erasing of male identity and fatherhood is a blatant attempt to erase Our Heavenly Father‘s imprint on humanity. It is a spiritual and demonic strategy.
Fathers matter. Fathers impact their children’s well-being. Just look at what the data shows:
- Children involved with caring fathers have better educational outcomes (5)
- Playtime with fathers leaves an important impact on children (6)
- Fathers bring strength, momentum and movement to a family (7)
- Son’s with a good relationship with dad handle stress more effectively (8)
- Involved dad’s have a direct impact on their child’s future (9)
- Families are strengthened by supporting fathers (10)
- Dad’s involvement curbs unwelcome teen pregnancy (11)
- Dad’s presence has a measureable boost to infant development (12)
- The ability to choose well is the legacy fo a good dad (13)
- Adolescent/teen boys who live with their dads are less likely to carry guns and deal drugs (15)
Fathers are essential for America as a nation and every other nation for that matter.
Yet, 1 in 4 children live without a biological, step or adoptive father in the home. That’s enough kids to fill NYC once or LA 4 times! Plus, there are millions more who live in homes where Dad is physically present, but emotionally absent. If classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic and natonal emergency. (14)
In my generation, 87.7% grew up with 2 biological parents. Today, that number is 68.1%.
Again, is it any wonder why fathers are so important to God – our Heavenly Father? They are number 1 to Him because they are the building blocks of strong families and thereby strong and healthy society.
That Hebrew word “Ab” that we opened with, the number 1 word in the lexicon, means this:
“Ab – H1 = father, head of a household, patron of a family. Human or spiritual father. A familial relationship represented by the word father.”Strong’s Concordance
Male role models are vital for families. They teach relationsips, reactions and responses. They set models for marriages and teach important life lessons. Without these good & positive influences we have countless families suffering through the absence of their father, because of his bad influence. And we too often mourn the lessons NOT learned, because of the image of Dad as a shadowdy, angry, booming presence. (and often harmful) The experiences we have with our dad powerfully linger in our emotions. For good or bad.
Today, I hear the call of The Spirit, to Fathers.
More than ever, this generation needs father figures and teachers. God is calling spiritual fathers to rise up. He is calling for earthly fathers to wake up. He is calling role models to step up. We have an epidemic of fatherlessness that OUR FATHER in heaven is crying to heal and fill. He is crying out for the fatherless.
This society badly needs the foundations that a father brings –
- The Father as the Source
- The Father who Provides
- The Father who Corrects
- The Father who Loves
God is speaking, in our wilderness…. where are the Fathers? I am looking for them, I am counting on them.
How can you help?
Father’s are essential
In the Father’s love,
- Father’s and Their Impact on Children’s Well-Being; Dr. Olker PhD.; Psychology Today 6.2011
- Father’s Matter; Danny Huerta PsyD; Focus on the Family
- 5 Things About the Importance of Father’s; LBJ School of Public Affairs; Child & Family Research Partnership; 6.2017
- 10 Amazing Research Findings; Couples Therapy Inc., Cherlin, A.; 6.2021
- National Fatherhood Initiative 2012