In recent days I’ve discussed the importance of fathers passing on blessing and affirmation to their sons. But for many of you, this begs the question: What should a grown man do who didn’t receive these gifts from his own father and sees little likelihood that he ever will?
The most important thing is not to give up on the possibility of reconciliation. Many men, well into their adult lives, have experienced a healing reunion with a father who never affirmed his son as he should have. People and circumstances change. God graciously intervenes into our broken lives and relationships. And for that reason, never dismiss, abandon, or kill your hope. Many fathers in the sunset years of life have found ways to convey long-overdue blessings, love, acceptance, and affirmation on sons who grew up lacking those precious gifts.
Still, the sad truth remains that for some men this will never happen. For a variety of reasons, a man may be left without the opportunity to gain emotional and personal closure from his own father. In that case, the affirmation and blessing of God the Father is all the more important.
Through faith in Jesus Christ, His Father becomes your Father. You are known, loved, and accepted by Him’regardless of your experience with your earthly father. He is a Father to both the physically and emotionally fatherless. There is healing in Him, which means there is hope for you.
Anyone who investigates the extent and effects of pornography in our country is tempted to conclude: ‘The problem’s too big to be beaten.’ Or perhaps: ‘What could I possibly do to make a difference in something so overblown?’ Folks, don’t succumb to these temptations. You can make a difference! In fact, if you love Jesus Christ; if you love your children; if you love your neighbor; then being passive and accepting defeat just isn’t an option.
God is holy. All forms of evil’pornography included’contradict God’s character. Therefore, God doesn’t’and can’t’compromise with it, or be reconciled to it. Make no mistake: God hates all forms of wickedness. So if you belong to Him, you must ask yourself: ‘Can I dare be indifferent to what my Lord hates and opposes?’ Clearly, you cannot.
In a Christianity Today editorial, I read four ways you can stem the rising tide of pornograpy:
1) Teach sex education at home and in church-sponsored programs.
2) Speak out against pornography, whether to PTA groups or to family stores selling pornographic materials.
3) Support those who are waging a battle against porn through petitions, letters, and boycotts.
4) Support and encourage any forums that will help people distinguish between opposition to pornography and the limitations to free speech.
And in all these things, pray. Pray that God will strengthen your hands and your heart for His service, and that, through His power, your efforts will bear fruit.
It’s easy to be God’s man when life is on a roll, isn’t it? But it’s another thing to be faithful in thought, word, and deed when you’re caught in the vortex of life’s storms. Yet that’s exactly when God’s man steps up to meet the challenge with integrity. The message is clear: perseverance under pressure pleases God. Some examples for you might be:
- Staying the course in the absence of immediate results.
- Seeking God in circumstances that are beyond your control.
- Continuing to pray for God’s will to be done in every situation.
- Doing God’s will whether you feel like it or not.
- Being satisfied with a reward that may come in the next life rather than this one.
- Staying sexually pure.
- Striving for excellence and earning your paycheck, even if you’re not always particularly wild about your job.
Guys, this is what we’re faced with in living life day to day, and persevering is evidence that you’re living a life of faith. And your response both tests and reveals the true depth of your spiritual character.
Martin Luther said that the gospel is intended for your ears rather than your eyes. Why? Because the promises and purposes of God are not readily discernable to your sight. That’s why you’re called to walk by faith. And that’s why you must persevere, trusting in Jesus Christ.