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Why the World Needs Fathers

What does it mean to be head of the household?


For many people today, our society seems very disorganized and aimless. Both men and women are struggling to navigate relationships, work, and life in general. This is especially the case among today’s young adults, under the age of 26, also known as Generation Z. I can speak from experience that many of us are struggling to navigate the challenges of adulthood.

Unfortunately, the typical instinct of our elders is to taunt us for our troubles. I’m not saying we’re perfect — we definitely make some big mistakes, and some critiques are valid. However, I would argue that the reason Generation Z struggles is because we lack guidance. Not only do we lack the guidance of the Lord, but many of us had to grow up with distant or absent fathers.

There are many reasons for America’s moral decline, but I think being fatherless is the biggest reason. Right now, America has the highest number of children living in single parent households of any nation in the world. Of those single parent households, most of them are led by single mothers. What this means is that a lot of children today grow up without a father, with a distant father, or with a father they don’t have a good relationship with.

Children need a shepherd to guide them through life, and this is especially the case when they are young. Fathers provide protection, stability, and guidance to a household. It is possible for a single mother to successfully raise children, but this situation is not ideal. According to the Bible, a family needs a father in order to truly thrive.

God Himself has given married men the responsibility of being head of the household. Thus, a great father is a blessing to his wife and children:

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. (Ephesians 5:23)

This verse describes the father being the head of his wife, but he is also the head of his children. Children are to obey both of their parents (Exodus 20:12)(Colossians 3:20), but they look to the father as their primary source of guidance. A godly father leads his family in the same way the Lord leads His church, teaching children to obey and love the Lord:

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4KJV)

But how are fathers supposed to raise children in this manner? I must confess that I lack personal experience on fatherhood, but I can still look to what the Bible and other godly leaders have to say about this topic.

The Bible’s Instruction to Fathers

In his book The Covenant Household, Pastor Douglas Wilson teaches that authority flows to those who take responsibility (pg. 14). In other words, a godly father must take responsibility for both himself and his family. He has to model the kind of behavior he wants to see in his children.

Children are very perceptive and will naturally emulate their parents’ behavior. This means that a father must watch his own behavior, as his children will almost always follow his example.

For instance, consider a father who does not attend church but expects the rest of the family to do so. Or consider a father who tells his children not to lose their temper when he can’t control his own anger. If a father is inconsistent or hypocritical in his behavior, his children will pick up on that. As a result, the father may find that he begins to lose his authority over his children.

I am not saying that fathers must be perfect, because no one is perfect. However, a father has the responsibility to conduct himself properly. If Dad wants his children to love Jesus, he must learn to love Jesus himself. A godly father seeks the Lord in everything he does, and this helps him to love his wife and children(Ephesians 5:25). Because a father loves Jesus, he will also love his family self-sacrificially:

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

When the father humbles himself before the Lord, he will be equipped to shepherd the spiritual health of his family. The godly father teaches his children to pray, read the Bible, and sing spiritual songs. When children see their father run to the Lord for guidance, it inspires them to do the same.

Finally, a godly father must be willing to take responsibility for sins he did not commit.

To illustrate this point, it’s helpful to think of a father as the captain of a ship. The crew members (wife and children) contribute to the health of the family, and they are responsible for their own actions (sins). But if the crew gets in trouble, the father is the one who takes the blame. This is because he is the leader and head of the family.

Suppose a son started causing fights at school, becoming a problem child for everyone else. At some point, the father becomes aware of his son’s roughhousing. Though the son is responsible for his own actions, the father must also pray for and on behalf of the son. A father does this because that is what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus took responsibility for sins He did not commit, and by doing so He washed us clean of our sin.

Conclusion — Redeeming Fatherhood

Raising godly children as a father can be immensely difficult. But the good news is that we always have a Heavenly Father we can to go for help. Indeed, a man must seek the Lord if he wishes to raise God-fearing, righteous children.

This is not only a good thing, but it is necessary. If current trends continue, America’s fatherless crisis will likely get worse. It is imperative that our society recognizes and remembers the importance of fatherhood. The lives of our future children are at stake.

When children grow up without a father, everything gets worse. Children without fathers are more likely to suffer mental health problems, more likely to spend time in jail, and more likely to fail academically.

What we are seeing today is Biblical truth in action. This crisis is bad for both men and women, but it is especially bad for men. Since many young men have grown up without an effective father, they look for guidance and teachers on the internet where anything can be presented as fact. 

If children do not receive proper instruction and nourishment from their parents, they will inevitably look somewhere else. Is there, then, any way we can get out of this?


There is hope for us young adults who have grown up in broken, fatherless homes. The Bible tells us that God is a Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5–6), and He cares for us. When we cry out to Him, He will make us new creations. The sting of not having a father may never go away completely, but the Lord is able and willing to heal us of our wounds:

Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. (Psalm 68:5)

Author Brandon Charles | BCWorldview.org 

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