“So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”(Galatians 4:7)
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). God does not do anything by accident. Everything he does is by perfect design. Men and women are wired to serve different purposes in the world, and when this gets out of whack, things go on a downward slide. Male and female were made to be together and to raise a family together, but in recent years, we have seen a huge increase of divorce and children growing up in fatherless homes. This has created a problem in our society because children, whether boy or girl, need both parents in their lives to help them develop the way God intended.
I have been researching the statistics for children growing up in fatherless homes and the effect it has on their development and how they function in society. I would like to share some of these with you that I found on a blog named The Fatherless Generation, which is a collection of statistics on fatherless households taken from the last census in 2010:
•63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
•90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
•85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
•80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
•71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
These statistics prove that having an earthly father in your life is extremely important. In the same way, it is even more important for us to have a relationship with our heavenly Father. We are sinful humans in desperate need of a holy Father to help guide and teach us. If we are not taught right from wrong, we will not know what to do and thus be drawn to our sinful nature. God guides us in multiple ways, including his word (the Bible), his Spirit, and other believers.
Learning to walk
One of my favorite seasons of a child’s life is when they start to learn to walk. They do what some people call the Frankenstein: arms stretched out to help balance them, hobbling with stiff legs. In the beginning, they fall time after time, and they get this frustrated look on their face. In their mind, I imagine they are thinking, “I am never going to be able to walk!” but their parents know that they will eventually learn to walk.
We must look at God in this same way. We are always learning to walk in his ways, and we fall sometimes. We also think, “I am never going to be able to stop looking at porn” or “I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive that person for what they did.” But God knows that you will be able to as you grow. I have never seen a parent after a child falls say, “You stupid kid, why do you keep falling?! You will never be able to walk!” No, the parent comes to help their child up and encourage them to keep getting back up. It’s the same way with God. He is our heavenly father, not a parole officer waiting for us to mess up so that he can arrest us. God knows our lives from the beginning to the end. He knows that we will mess up, and when we do, he is there to encourage us to never give up, not to condemn us. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
How we truly view God is clearly reflected in how we react when we sin. The reality is that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. My question is, “How do you react to sin?” Take a minute to ask yourself that question. There are times in my life where, if I am being honest, I feel like I need to hide from God or I can’t come to him until I do some good works. I imagine some of you have felt this way before, but this is not how we need to act. Satan whispers in our ear things like, “How could God love you when you did that?” or “God is tired of you messing up all the time.” The truth is that God wants us to come to him honestly to share our sin with him and ask for forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
While Jesus is on the cross, the scripture says that he cries out to God calling him “Abba,” which in Aramaic would have translated to something similar to “Dad.” This is a very intimate word. Anyone can have a kid and be a biological father but it takes a very special person to be a dad. When I think of a dad, three characteristics come to mind. I want to break these down individually and show you how God is not a distant father but a personal, loving dad.
God created the father of the household to be the protector of the family. He did this to reflect his character and to help us understand his role as our Heavenly Father. Second Thessalonians 3:3 says,“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” We can rest assured that our Heavenly Father is working on our behalf to protect us from the evil one who comes only to steal our joy, kill our hope, and destroy our faith.
In every man, there is a deeply ingrained sense that we are the provider for our families. We will work countless hours, sacrifice our personal time and energy to put food on the table for our family. As men, we delight in doing this no matter how stressful, hard, or taxing it is. Just as we love to do this, God also enjoys providing for his kids. I love the verse in Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”As your heavenly father, God will provide everything you need.
If we are being honest, in today’s world, many parents are more worried about being their child’s friend rather than a parent. They allow their children to do what they want because they are afraid that they will be mad at them. This has caused a massive problem in my generation. A loving parent will correct their child when they are walking down a path of destruction.
Our God is a father of correction. If he sees one of his children walking down a path that leads to death, he will correct them. How he does it is different for everyone, but he will correct us in our sin. The fact that he corrects us proves that he loves us, so we should take delight when we are corrected. “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” (Proverbs 13:24)
The Princess Diaries
In 2001, there was a movie released named The Princess Diaries. It is a romantic comedy staring Anne Hathaway where she played, Mia, an awkward and unpopular high school girl. Her friends consisted of two people and a cat named Fat Louie. Her father passed away so she lived with her mom. She appeared to be an everyday, average girl. That is, until she meets her grandmother, her father’s mom, who is the Queen of Genovia, thus making her a princess. Her life dramatically begins to change once she realizes her true identity. She went from a normal life of school, homework, sleep, and repeat, to living the royal life and preparing to reign. When she found out who she was, she was able to shake off the monotony of a normal life and truly walk in her royal identity.
The Bible tells us in Galatians 4:7, “So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” When we give our life to Jesus Christ, we are no longer slaves to the labels that this world gives us. Instead, we are children of the King, thus making us heirs to the throne. We can no longer settle for a life of doing the things that unbelievers do, but we must walk in our true identity as a royal priesthood and chosen people.
- (23 April 2010). The Fatherless Generation: Statistics. Retrieved from: https://thefatherlessgeneration.wordpress.com/statistics/