Greetings from Faith Lutheran Church in Eldorado.
I was going to continue a discussion on worship but then realized when Father's Day is.
Fatherhood in recent times has come under attacks and challenges. In entertainment, shows like "Father Knows Best" have been replaced by the "The Simpsons." There are those who feel that a man is not needed to raise healthy and well-rounded children. All male programs are suspect as prejudicial against females.
Men have done their share to add to this unhealthy image. The National Institute on Drug Abuse tells us that men are more likely to abuse all types of drugs over women. More men die from drug overdose and suicide than women.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, men are less likely to earn a bachelor's degree. Less than 4 percent of active shooters are females. Rarely in domestic abuse cases where police are called, is the women taken into custody.
Fatherhood is not merely the fact the one has procreated. Fatherhood is a serious undertaking and fathers are accountable to God and others. God demands all fathers raise their children to be responsible citizens of their community and to be brought up in the fear and knowledge of the Lord.
Fathers are examples to their children whether good or bad. They can demonstrate what a loving husband is as they care for their wives. They can show how to care for their neighbor in need and resolve conflicts. They can teach honor to civil authorities and show respect for our nation. They can demonstrate how to put in an honest day's work or pay an honest wage.
God delights in a father teaching his children the nature of citizenship.
Concerning fear of the Lord, children who see their fathers go to worship services and participate are much more likely to stay in church than if they go only with Mom. Fathers are the single most import factor for a child staying in church. Children seek the praise and love of their father. I have seen where the mother goes to church, but the son was told by the father that he didn't need to go. Guess who the son sided with?
But it is not just in attending church, it is that children know God's love in Jesus Christ. That they do not go through this world wondering what Jesus is all about. That daily they can come to their heavenly Father in prayer and know that they will be heard and cared for.
Fathers have always been part of God's plan to raise the next generation. Because of our sinful nature fatherhood is a challenge, but God abides with the man of God in who seeks God's strength in word and sacrament. He also forgives our sins for our salvation and to focus us on the future, not the past as we humbly repent of our sins. God stands with fathers!
• David Otten is pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Eldorado.