OpenDoor Church, Burleson, TX

Matthew 6:8-13 – Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14–15 – “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father [patēr], from whom every family [patria] in heaven and on earth is named.”

In the Greek it is easy to pick up on Paul’s patēr/patria play on words. John Stott chose to translate this phrase as “the Father from whom all fatherhood is named.” The ESV translation footnote makes a similar point.

God’s Fatherhood is the archetype of human fatherhood, a point made even more explicit in Hebrews 12:7–10. What that means for us fathers today is that we take our cues on fatherhood from the Father of Fatherhood himself, which is a great relief for any father today who was raised by a sinful or absent father (which of course includes every one of us).

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

The point of Jesus being the Way, the Truth and the Life is to lead us into the presence of the Father

A responsibility to lead (Prince)
A responsibility to seek God (Priest)
A responsibility to pray & speak life (Prophet)
A responsibility to provide for others (Provider)
A responsibility to protect others (Protector)

Responsibility: The state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone or something;
being accountable or to blame for something.

The biblical word for responsibility: watchfulness

There are at least 66 verses in the 66 books of the Bible that tell us to be watchful. Or take responsibility for the post that God had given us.

Luke 21:36 – “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Ezekiel 33:6 – But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.

To be a man of all seasons. To take responsibility for the station you have been commended to steward and make sure it looks more like the Kingdom of God rather than the enemies camp. Your family should look more like heaven than it looks like hell.

Fathers have five responsibilities: A responsibility to lead; a responsibility to seek God’s will; a responsibility to pray and worship; a responsibility to protect the beautiful, the innocent and the good; and a responsibility to provide for those we love and lead.

What would you say if I told you Men fulfilling their responsibilities as fathers could solve all the world’s problems?

What would you say if I told you that women step up when men step away, but women resent having to do that, and are weary and angry at men who neglect their responsibilities as fathers, husbands, sons and brothers?

This is not to say there isn’t plenty of good will between the sexes, but I think we can agree the world is a mess.
It’s a mess because it’s out of balance. It’s a mess because the relationship between the sexes has become completely distorted. And, what I’ll explore here today is the suggestion that we, as men, have allowed this to happen by neglecting our responsibilities as fathers.

We see around us increasingly desperate assertions of distorted perspectives overwhelmingly deaf to reason or reassurance. Gentle assertion of reason and reassurance is one responsibility of fathers.

We see around us a rejection of natural order between the sexes. Calm communication of natural order between the sexes is a responsibility of fathers. We see around us a rejection of humility before God and an assertion of progressive principles that reject masculinity. The example of calm, confident humility before God is a responsibility of fathers.

We see around us women at risk, attacked and fighting for their dignity. Protecting women and the elevation of their dignity is a father’s responsibility.

Finally, we see motherhood ridiculed and denigrated either implicitly or explicitly by an economic compromise that says “women who choose to raise children are somehow less relevant or less valuable than those who choose to make money.” Fathers are primarily responsible for providing for their families so women can have those kinds of choices. Providing so others have choices is a father’s responsibility.

Masculinity is powerful. That’s why it is under attack.
“Who benefits?”

Who benefits from chaos? If you and I are arguing, someone else can exploit our division. Who benefits when men step away? Who benefits when families are weak? When a father’s responsibilities are neglected, distorted, rejected, or usurped, who benefits? You’ve heard the saying that nature abhors a vacuum. So does power. Masculinity is powerful. That’s why it’s under attack. Someone is asserting authority when men fail to. There is a natural order to the world that is universal and works well when we each do our part.

But when we men do not do our part, when we fail to fulfill our responsibilities as fathers, someone else does. When someone else has the courage, boldness and audacity to assume and assert fathers’ responsibilities when we fail to, they have every right to expect the authority, privileges, and influence we relinquish.

The ones who benefit from our neglect are the people more courageous and assertive than we are. The ones who benefit from our neglect and timidity are those who seek to push a political agenda that undermines our rightful authority as men, wherever we may be. It is they who attack our families when we neglect our responsibilities as fathers.

“Who suffers?” It’s a good question to ask.

Who suffers when men and women make war with each other? Who suffers when men neglect our responsibilities as fathers? Who suffers when men neglect our responsibility to lead?
Who suffers when fathers fail to consult and worship God and stop protecting and providing for others?
These are responsibilities of fathers.

Men suffer the least.
The ones who suffer most are women and children.
Everywhere we look now, women are being treated like men. And when men start treating women like men, the whole world suffers, but women and children suffer the most. So, the enemies of our families benefit, and women and children are hurt the most when men neglect to fulfill their responsibilities as fathers.
This must stop.

Statistics of Fatherlessness
63% of youth suicides
90% of youth homeless/runaways
85% of youth behavior disorders
80% of rapists/anger issues
71% of all high school dropouts
75% of youth patients in chemical abuse centers
85% of all youth in prison

The Five Responsibilities of Fathers: Prince, Priest, Prophet, Provider and Protector

Father as Prince: a father’s responsibility to lead
Men are created to lead.

Every man is born with a desire to lead but it doesn’t happen automatically. It’s taught. It’s developed. It’s not automatic.
It’s what we do and we do it well. We have a genius for clarity, simplicity and action.

If you’d like 11 steps to leadership, look no further than the United States Army. To be a leader, start doing the following today and apply these at home, at work, in life:

Know yourself and seek self-improvement. It’s a father’s responsibility to improve. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. – 2 John 1:8

Emotional intelligence. Consistently learning. Being determined to grow into the person your family, your church, and your nation needs you to be. These are all things the Holy Spirit is waiting for you and I to get engaged in.

Pod casts, E-courses, Bible studies, reading the right books.

The Five Marks of a Man by Brian Tome
Wild at Heart by John Eldridge
The Barbarian way by Erwin McManus
TD Jakes speaks to men is three of his books in one book

Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions. Fathers seek responsibility.
Model it, demonstrate it.

If you want your kids to love Jesus, openly love Jesus.
If you want your kids to stand for something, then you stand for something.
If you want your kids to pray, let them hear you pray.
If you want your kids to be repentant, then you be repentant
Set the example

Be technically and tactically proficient. This means know your job and do it. Get really good at some things:

Know your wife and children; look out for their welfare.

Keep your wife and children informed on matters that affect them.

Develop a sense of responsibility within your family.
Teach your family to work together as a team.
Make sound and timely decisions.

Ensure tasks you ask to be done are understood, supervised, and accomplished. Have holy hatred for things undone.
Get stuff done!

Only ask your wife and children to do what is reasonable:
Ephesians 6:4 (NKJV) – And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4 (New International Version) – Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4 (Amplified Bible) – Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

A priest may be defined as a man authorized—authorized by whom?–to perform certain rites and administer certain sacraments. It’s a father’s responsibility to be reverent. Show your family you revere God. So as a father you must seek—and it’s the responsibility of a father to be seen to seek—the will of God and then you must try to do—and it’s the responsibility of a father to be seen trying to do—the will of God.

To know how to make a decision.
What we should do and when we should do it.

Your children must see you trying to figure it all out. Children are smart and even they, especially they, ask the big questions in life. In their innocence children seek God. In their innocence they seek the will of God. If you demonstrate to them that you are trying to do the same, not only do you encourage and strengthen them in their own precious desire to know God, you become a companion to them on the most important journey in life: the journey to spiritual fulfillment. And note, too, that you receive authority from those you serve as a responsible father. If you have ever made a mistake in front of your children and then gone to apologize to them for that mistake you know the life changing power of the forgiveness of a child. Your responsibility as a father is NOT to be false or hypocritical. The world hates a phony. Your desire must be humble, your desire must be sincere, but if your children and your wife see you struggling to figure out the meaning of life, you all benefit.

Father as Provider and Protector: These two responsibilities are simple and straightforward, but they are not easy.

A father’s responsibility to provide food, clothing and shelter for others and to protect the innocent, the beautiful and the good from physical, spiritual and moral harm.

You have a responsibility as a father to provide for your wife and your children. You are responsible for putting a roof over their heads, for providing them clothes and shoes, food and education and experiences that are healthy.

This is what fathers do.
You love your wife by providing for her. If she wishes to pursue other opportunities you must love her and support her by helping her to make responsible decisions of her own so you reach agreement as a couple.

It is a father’s responsibility to ensure the children aren’t neglected. This is where life gets complicated. The welfare of the children must come first. That, too, is a father’s responsibility.

It’s a privilege to be a parent, a privilege to bring children into the world. Your responsibility as a father to your children is to love their mother and work toward her good, but she’s your cherished companion to be honored, not tyrannized.
We all know this is not easy.

Men have fathers’ responsibilities and women have mothers’ responsibilities. We are radically equal and radically different, but children require time and attention. It is the rare mother who doesn’t want to be with her child, at least for the first formative years. It is a father’s responsibility to make this possible and a husband’s privilege to work with his wife so she has choices. We have responsibilities so others may have privileges. It’s what we do. Being a responsible husband and father deserves respect.
When we do this right, we earn respect.

A father’s responsibility as a protector is perhaps the most dramatic responsibility we have. The evidence of all studies is conclusive. Children whose fathers are in the home grow up more secure and safer. A father’s active involvement in his children’s lives teaches confidence and security. A man’s view of the world and the threats it contains offers his children a stable position from which to see the world in a way that is realistic and more confident than children without fathers or healthy men in their lives. A father’s responsibility to protect in a physical sense means protecting with violence or credible threats of violence of his own in a violent world. Prayerful fathers protect spiritually. Hard working fathers protect financially.
Healthy strong fathers protect emotionally and smart men of all kinds master violence.

Mastering violence and learning to deploy violence to protect the innocent, the beautiful and the good is a privileged responsibility of a father.

We know, too, that men who can be dangerous on demand are men who take the responsibilities of a father seriously. It doesn’t mean we’re out of control, it means we control the savage nature of our masculinity to serve our families as protectors.
As guardians. As fathers.