Created for More Than This-June 15, 2014-Father’s Day
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7, 18, 20b-25; 3:7-9
We were created in God’s image, then God blessed them, told them to be fruitful and multiply and then gave them stewardship of the earth. Man was formed from the dust of the earth, but was filled with the breath of life. The Lord said it was not good for man to be alone, so there was made a suitable helper for him. It seems men that God knew would need a little help. Adam then fell into a deep sleep and the first surgery occurred when God took one of Adam’s ribs closed up the space and used that rib to create Adam’s wife Eve. She would be bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh, and it is for this relationship that a man pulls away from his family of orientation (birth) to begin his family of procreation. The man leaves the one family to begin one of his own, becoming one flesh with his wife. They were naked but not ashamed to be around each other. After sin they became ashamed to be around one another, and also ashamed to be around God. They because ashamed and hid their bodies from one another and then they hid from fellowship with God. The Lord then called to them with a haunting question to the man, “Where are you?’
We were created for more than just existing in time and space, we were created for more than just being a provider for the physical things in life but the roles of husband and father are two roles that the Lord expects us to take seriously. Many men like to say that they are the head of the family. The scripture says that they are the spiritual head of the family which comes with it a responsibility to care for, guide, and lead our families to have the best opportunity for them to discover and grow into Christ.
They were created and blessed and told to be fruitful and they were given stewardship and responsibility. In this larger narrative we discover that God directly tells Adam not to eat from the tree, and a least one of those times, was before Eve was around. It was his responsibility to look out for his wife, and by extension his family. They were together and not ashamed. There was no distance between them nothing to keep them apart and sin separated them, and put distance between them and between them and God. The way Paul describes these relationships is in terms of service, and responsibility.
A whole lot of talking on Father’s Day to get back around to what perhaps this sermon should have been called, two lessons. When we were created, as men we are responsible for our families walk of faith. We should protect them, where we can, help them to grow where we can, but it is the work that God has given us. Today’s view of manhood and fatherhood is very skewed. Many today think that a man should be a provider and although I don’t disagree, we are created for more than that. It seems that we teach our kids so many things, like manners, how to throw a baseball, kick a soccer ball, or shoot a basketball. Maybe it is fishing or any number of other activities, but in God’s eyes our primary responsibility is to help our wives and children to grow closer to Christ.
Church may not sound macho to some men. It confuses me that most men would do anything for their children to provide for them and to provide opportunities for them to grow in so many other areas, but are not willing to make Christ a priority. Those who die without Christ will spend eternity separated from God. The best most loving thing we can do for our families is point them to Christ.
Looking back I realize that I did not have a perfect father but where I think he succeed was in teaching me to love Jesus by demonstrating his love for Jesus in his daily life, and second he demonstrated his love for Christ’s Bride, the church, by being faithful to her. He did not send us to church with others, he took us and stayed, even when my mother had to work and could not be there. It is a scary thing to think that as fathers and husbands we are succeeding in areas that are not the most important. In the end it really will not matter how our kids earned a living, or whether they were good at sports, but whether or not they know Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
We are created to love, support, and lead our families to grow in faith and love of Jesus Christ. It is the sin of this world that tries to distract us from what God desires for us to be as husbands and fathers. When God came looking for Adam and Eve, they scripture records that he calls out to man, “Where are you?” I pray that God will not have to ask that haunting question of Christian men around the world, “Where are you?’ I pray that we would be diligent to help our families grow into closer relationship to Christ, but our example. We would teach them to love Christ because we love Christ, and that they will remain faithful to His Bride, the church, because they have seen our faithfulness to her. This is what we were created for!