September 11, 2013

The Fatherhood Principle

The Fatherhood Principle is a book written by Myles Munroe which is dedicated specifically to men but women can also benefit a lot from learning this. Throughout the book, Myles addressed fundamental issues regarding the purpose of fatherhood, the role of men, and fulfilling the calling as father. I have been blessed a lot from learning this and cannot help not to share it. So, here is what I have learned and hopefully we together can apply it in our family to bring such a great impact to the world :)

First, I would like to share the facts and impacts of children who has no figure of father in their lives:
1. Children who was being raised without father have 5 times probability to become poor.
2. Babies mortality rate who were born by an unmarried mother is 1,8 times higher than married mother.
3. Teenagers who were raised without father has bigger probability to be involved in crime and got into prison than those who were raised in a family with father and mother.
4. Teenagers are having higher risk to get into drugs addiction without father's supervision.
5. Teenagers who were raised by single mother has higher risk to engage pre-marital sex.
6. Living with a single parent has doubled the risk of children to suffer from physical and emotional underdevelopment rather than those who live with both parents.

These facts has shown how important it is the presence and role of father in shaping their children's future. But the problems that we face in our society is many men don't know their purpose and the meaning of becoming a father. Inside of all men there is a potential to become a father. God wants every boy grows up to become a father. Having children on our own may automatically make us receive the title of "Father" but what is that all? What is really the meaning of being a father?

The word "father" in Hebrew comes from the word "ab". "Abba" means "papa". In Greek, the word "father" is "pater". There are definitions of ab and pater, such as:
- Source
- Preserver
- Guardian
- Supporter
- Pioneer
- Protector
These definitions will direct us to the purpose of men that we have been looking for. From them, we can draw the principles of fatherhood such as:

1. Man as the source of seeds. 
Man is the source of sperms (seeds). He is the source of human's life, while woman is the incubator of life. Woman gives life to the man's seeds.

2. Man as preserver of fruits. 
As the seeds have been planted, the seeds will grow into a tree that bear fruits. Man as a father is responsible to preserve the fruit. Fruits in the end will yield to new seed. Father is the preserver. That gives a glimpse of purpose of man for not to spread his seeds wherever he likes. Because as a responsible man, he needs to be responsible of his seeds and preserve it and its fruits (you know what I mean hehe)

3. Man as the source of woman. 
1 Cor 11:8-9 says, "For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither man was created for woman, but woman for man." Woman is man's glory. Man is responsible for whatever that comes out of him. Woman was created out of man so that man is responsible to woman and how he treats her. If you are a young man who have a romantic relationship with young woman, you need to honor her, just like you want others to honor your own daughter. It is inappropriate to force her to do sex before marriage. When a woman goes out with a man, she needs to feel protected physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

4. Man is designed to protect his fruits. It is the exact reason why God gave men physical strength. Men have heavier and bigger bone's structure than women's bone structure not to struck women but to protect them. There are so many men who struck and curse their wives and think that by doing so they have become true man. They are not true man; they are liar and foolish people who don't know the very purpose they were created for. This kind of men can be dangerous because when they don't know their purpose, violence is inevitable. The safest place of woman should be in her husband's embrace. When a woman is not safe in her husband's embrace, then she is in a trouble. If a man hates his own wife, he hates himself (Ephesians 5:25-33). "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh.Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." -Mark 10:7-9 Woman is a part of man. A man who struck and curse himself can be regarded as a crazy man. Fatherhood is an amazing responsibility because you are the ancestor of all that come out fro you and you have to protect all of them. A father means a protector.

5. Man determines what kind of descendants and their qualities he will have.
Have you ever heard the old saying that says, "Like father, like son"? Whether you like it or not, the qualities of man will be passed through to his descendants, either good qualities or bad ones. As a woman who considers marriage, you need to ensure your man's characters and qualities. There are some men who seem to have good fruits, but he is in disguise to trick you. If you don't want certain qualities of the man being passed to your children, then perhaps it's a 'red light' to proceed your relationship into the next phase.
For men, you also need to be careful regarding what kind of soil that you will use to plant your seeds. Your seeds can be good, but if the soil is lacking of nutrition, you will have certainly an unhealthy tree in the end. A good seed cannot be planted wherever you like. The quality of your woman will also influence the quality of the fruits.

6. Man nurtures his descendants. 
The fatherhood principle is nurturing. Men are responsible to guarantee safety, food, and the development of his seeds.

7. Man teaches his descendants.
Now we come to a very important role of a father ... teaching. Most people think that teaching is the role of a mother who is most likely at home. But God designed men to be the teacher, not women. He gave Adam knowledge in order for Adam to give it to Eve and their future children. Women can teach but still the source of the teaching needs to come from the father. Even when the father isn't present at home, women can still teach their children with the father's authority. For example, instead of saying, "I said you should not go home late beyond 6 pm," you can say, "Your daddy sad that you should not go home late beyond 6 pm." It gives a clue to children that even though their father is not there, they can feel his authority at home. And they know that their father and mother are one. It gives a clue for them to respect both.
It is a father's responsibility to train their children to walk in the ways of God. It's not Sunday School's teacher's responsibility, nor your pastor's. Of course it will be difficult to lead a child in Godly ways when the father does not know God's words or does not know God Himself very much. You cannot lead people where you haven't been there either. It takes a willingness to learn and grow so that you will be in a position to teach your own children about God's ways.

Men are the foundation of home. As husbands, men are the foundation of marriage. As fathers, men are the foundation of family. As shepherds, men are foundation of ministry.

We all know that the strength of a building truly depends on the strength of its foundation. It takes a strong character and willingness to sacrifice daily to be a strong foundation. Foundation is invisible. There are so many roles of men at home that may not be recognized by the society or even wives, but have such a tremendous impact. Men as foundation will bear all responsibilities and do whatever it takes to keep the family united. Men are the super glue that makes their whole family sticks together. They don't brag about how much they do for their  family. A carpenter doesn't brag about how many furnitures he has made throughout his life, because it's simply his job to do that. The same thing here, men don't need to brag about how much he has worked hard to bring the bread to the table, how much he has helped to do housework, and so on simply because it is their job and responsibility to do so. Foundation focuses on it's strength and endurance, but keep being invisible. When you have a foundation that is so strong, you will not need to worry about problems that may come because it will not tear the building of home down. 

Men are not only functioned as a foundation, but as an anchor for  their families. An anchor is something that is dependable, something that gives stability and safety. It makes your whole family feel at rest knowing that you are there and they can depend on you in everything. The anchor of men can only be tested its strength when the storms come. We can't see the strength of men before we have seen them in the midst of troubles of life.

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." - 1 Cor 10:13

When we are facing problems that we feel bigger than our strength, know that it is a lie. God will never allow a test that is bigger from your strength. If it is bigger than others, then perhaps your capacity of anchor is stronger than them. The more tests you have overcome, the stronger you become. 

The storm will inevitably come in our life. But take heart, "because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1:3-4
For women, choose a man who has been tested through difficult times and endure it well. Don't rely on an anchor who hasn't been tested in the midst of storm.

There is no vision being legitimated until that vision is being tested. When you have made a declaration of vision, you will be tested in accordance to it. For example, if a man declares, "I will not have pre-marital sex before I got married," don't be surprised if suddenly his ex-es, other women can come to him again. If a man declares, "I will start up a business!" what will happen next will be obstacles to test the vision. Remember Peter? He said, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and death." but the next thing that happen was he denied Jesus.

Do you know what it takes to make a sword? The Greek and Romans used iron to make the swords which they will use for war. They would use iron and put it on fire so that it became so hot in order to look whether there are black spots on it or not. The black spots would appear when the molecules lack of density; the black spots simply show areas that are still mushy. When the black spots were founded, they would place the hot sword on a steel foundation and started hammering them. They would keep hammering the mushy areas until the molecules compacted and they would not see the black spots again. Then, they would put the hot sword into cold water so that the iron can be hardened. After that, they will put the sword on fire again to look whether there are still black spots again or not. If they still found it, they will repeat the process again -fire, hammering, cold water- until the black spots completely being removed.

When the sword has passed all the complete process, a soldier can be sure that it won't break in the midst of war where the life of a soldier will depend on the sword. This is the same process God uses to test us. To forge means to test weakness to ensuring strength. God doesn't need to forge to find our black spots, he can simply see directly into us. He knows our weakness, our habits, unhealthy relationship, and things we hid from others. He knows everything about us. But this forging process is for our own good. He allows us to get through obstacles and tests so that you can recognize what hinders you from your life and learn to remove it. Each time we endure a problem in our life, a few of black spots are being removed from us. The more problems you overcome, the more black spots are being removed. When all the black spots are completely being removed God can use you as His sword. He can use you as an example, "This is the man who defend for My purpose. I have no fear that he will break in the midst of war."

So many christians "break" in the midst of obstacles simply because they haven't been in the fire too long. They have not endured the hammering process long enough. They still have many black spots that make their swords become weak. The whole process will be going throughout our entire life. After we have passed one test, there will come another. God will never stop shaping you to become like Him. Because He knows that your true fulfilment of life can only be come true when you follow Him.

Remember that it will be too late to test an anchor when the storm has come. It will be late to test a sword in the midst of war. Make sure you become a man who has been tested and endured well, and if you are a woman, make sure you choose a man who has been tested through difficult times to become your life-long partner.

I once asked Billy, "What does actually turn a boy to a man?" Billy simply answers, "Problems."

An anchor, no matter how strong it is, isn't useful when it has no strong rock to being attached on. That strong rock is Jesus Christ. All these qualities of men can only grow when men meets and depends on His creator. Jesus will teach you how to be a true warrior for your marriage and family. Men support his family, but Jesus supports the men. Isn't it awesome? The burden of responsibility becomes so much lighter because men are not alone. He has Jesus to rely on. 

A man who completely depends on God, is dependable. You can see his ups and downs, and being confident that he will get up again, for He relies on God's power. He will keep his family safe and united no matter how, because he has seen his Father do so, God never leaves him no matter what. If you are a man, it is never too late to pursue your original design to be source, preserver, protector, and teacher for your marriage and family. Keep growing in Jesus! Be determined to endure all trials and keep your faith up in His power to make all things happen. If you are a woman, remember these are the qualities that you long for. Don't settle for the less. Don't settle for the good enough, wait patiently for the best of God. As you grow in God, He is growing a man also for you. It takes only a time before you two can meet and build His kingdom on earth, a Godly family. Keep growing and pursuing Him, your ultimate lover. Be determined to be the best helper a man can ever found in this planet!

Love and blessings,
Leticia Seviraneta

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