Updated: Jul 9, 2020
In the research done by the San Jose State University, the absence of fathers in the home was the number one reason for most of the crimes and inmates population in the United States. Throughout my visitations with inmates, I have seen how true this is. The first thing I usually ask them is, “ How is your relationship with your father?’ And most of the answers are very much alike, “ I never knew him”, “He was an abuser and in and out of the prison”, etc. There is a story about a father who told his little son to be careful where he is walking. The son replied, “ You be careful because I follow your steps”. The word Father in Hebrew is “Abba” which means “ Founder, Sustainer and Provider”. Throughout the Bible, God is called Father because He symbolizes all those three points for all the Creation. In the fall of mankind, we all became fatherless and lost our authority as sons and daughters. In the parable of the prodigal son, Christ teaches how our fall affected our relationship with our creator, ourselves and the world:
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. ( Luke 15:11-15)
Furthermore, the story goes on to say how the son came to his senses and made his back to his father’s house and how he willingly accepted him and gave his authority back.As a man, there is not a bigger responsibility for us to go back to our Father to learn once again how to be a real man.
Fatherhood is not about having kids, it is a characteristics and identity. Not every man who has kids are fathers and there are many fathers who don’t have kids. The human family, according to the Bible, is rooted and created by one man, Adam which became our earthly father. Like a great architect, God created the whole human family through one man and put all of us as seeds within him. But what God had in mind in creating Adam and what was his idea of a “father”? In order to find the truth about anything we need to go to its original source and first idea of why it was created. We clearly see in the first book of Torah, Genesis, the characteristics a man and a foundation God had in mind:
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15
1- Real men live in the presence of God: Men grow in the nature of their fatherhood to the degree they become like Father God. The more we get to know God, the more we will be like Him and there is nothing more attractive as a man to be in the image of God. Before anything else, a man needs God’s presence in his life. As fish are dead without water, so humans are dead without their Source. In the presence of God, it is not possible to curse or hurt someone. We need God more than we need breath— a man’s number one pursuit should be seeking God’s presence daily in his life.
2- Real men are purposeful: It is important for a man to find his purpose before he finds his woman. God’s command to work in the original text, Hebrew, was telling Adam “to become himself”. A man who has found his purpose has found the truth about who he is. Purpose determines our fulfillment in life and a man without purpose is a dead being. The whole concept of Existential Therapy is based on finding purpose and meaning in the face of world’s suffering. Viktor Frankl, one of the founders of Existential Therapy, mentions the need of mankind for a purpose perfectly, “ Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose”.
3- Real Men are protectors and cultivators: Man’s protection should be based on spiritual, mental and physical aspect. Men are like gardeners of their homes as women are diligent like flowers. Men need to constantly provide an environment of safety and security for their woman to grow in their potential and God-given gifts. Since women are very good at reflecting the responses they receive from their environment, you can tell what kind of man you are by the way your woman feels in her life. An important part of fatherhood is being able to be a faithful provider, sustainer and cultivator of your woman’s life.
Our today’s world is filled with confusion and wrong information, while men are not really fulfilling their roles to be the foundation they were created to be. The greatest maturity of a man is seen when he portrays the fatherhood nature of God. The man concept of being a leader shall be nothing more than being a servant first. The greatest men always serve their spouse and humanity and by their servanthood, they become great and respected. The question is, “ Have we, as men, come to our senses yet?”
Written by Parsa Peykar
Drawing by Hamlet A.