Artist Devo: Fatherhood (Mark Arthur)
Published on May 11, 2009
I have been married five years and I have a three year old boy and a two year old girl. I am not taking anything away from being a husband, but fathers are responsible for so much more within the family unit. This includes being a husband to your wife as well. Even in Roman culture, the father’s place was at the head of the family. People understood that society’s structure and stability were rooted in the family’s structure and stability.
The parental relationship between a father and children is one of great Biblical importance as well. (Romans 4:11 “…He is the Father of all who believe…”) When there is a broken family or a family in utter and total chaos, it’s usually a result of the lack of a father in the home, or poor leadership of the one that is there.
I was studying God’s word one day and I was in the book of Ephesians. I did a little study into the history of the Greco-Roman roots of the family. Little did I know that the Roman writers discussed family life in terms of 3 sets of fundamental relationships in which the father is a pivotal part. They are:
1. Husbands and Wives
2. Parents and Children
3. Masters and Slaves
In the Greco-Roman world, fathers were expected to provide for their families. The mothers held a place of high honor in society and were expected to behave with honor and chastity.
I will be brutally honest and transparent…when I first found out that we were going to have kids, I felt a lot of emotions and joy was not one of them. I was scared, overwhelmed, depressed a little and just wanted to escape. I had only been married 8 months, my wife and I were still trying to learn each other in a new marriage, and money wasn’t the best because at the time I was the only one with a job, plus I was in college. So needless to say, for me at that moment, the timing couldn’t be worse for children to be thrown into the mix, but it actually turned out to be the best time possible.
After Mathew 6: 25, and Mathew 6:34 kicked in, (v.25 “Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” v.34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”) I felt a little better and was able to function. Now years later, my wife, children, and I are in what I like to call a “Groove”. We have a routine for everyday, and things seem to run pretty smoothly for the most part.
I will be honest once again; I am very concerned with how they turn out as adults later on in life. I often times wonder if I am doing a good job as a father. I know Ephesians 6:4 tells me, “Fathers do not exasperate your children: instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” This is an encouragement and an instruction. In the Greco-Roman world, as the son grew older fathers were responsible for his discipline and education. I am currently in the early stages of teaching my kids about prayer and the Bible, and I am happy to say some of it is sticking. When it comes to discipline I always try to make sure I am firm but fair, and whatever means I discipline my son with, my daughter gets the same.
The Christian can rest in John 8:41 (“The only Father we have is God Himself.”). These are some big shoes to fill. I know I am supposed to be like Him in every area of my life, but the more I try to mimic The Lord, the more I see my imperfection and flaws.
I do ask that whoever reads this pray for my diligence and consistency with discipline and teaching my children about the Lord. I solicit the prayers of the Christian community; please pray that I lead my family in a manner that is pleasing to God for the rest of my life.