Stand up and Fight for Fatherhood...like a Centurion
This is yet another Father's Day post... inspired by my pastor's sermon today. Today he preached about a man that Jesus encountered, that Jesus Himself said had faith like nobody else he'd met in all of Israel!
We're talking about the Roman Centurion whom Jesus assured, his servant was healed by the mere spoken word of God's Son. Yet, it was the faith of the Centurion that persuaded Jesus to make it so.
But what does this have to do with a picture of my dad and me, from my 40th birthday party?
You see, one of the neat parts of the sermon was the discovery from research on Roman Centurions the pastor shared with us. The Centurions were the cream of the crop in ancient Roman military, and the things one had to do to achieve such honor, responsibilities, and respect were not accomplished by just any old slouch. Yet, none of those things are what impressed Jesus.
No - it was the Centurion's faith.
You see, the older gent in the picture with me is my father. My father taught me the importance of faith. Not only did I see him try to put his beliefs first, and lead the family the way he thought a father should; I think he gave me the foundation I needed to have the solid faith I do, and thus inspired me to lead my family in the same way.
Are we perfect? No. I dare you to try to find someone who is. But due to my line of work, the nature of my writings, and overall observation of the world around us, I also know pop culture doesn't exactly smile on those things that Jesus would say make a Godly father and leader of the household.
No, it is safe to say, if you just turn on your TV, pull up social media, or pay attention to political rhetoric in movies and news - fatherhood, in the biblical sense, is under attack. One does not have to dive too deep in my blog to find some examples.
But from 'Pride' month (yes, we've dedicated an entire month to one of the seven deadly sins - and others, mind you), to the breakdown of American family values, to the emasculation of the American male, to girls sports no longer being girls sports, to Father's Day being the least attended Sunday in churches across America, to Father's Day being the least celebrated holiday in prisons (Mother's Day being #1) - due to the fact that key figures and agendas in pop culture have been a driving force and influence in all the aforementioned trends, it is obvious that someone has had it out for fathers in America for a while now.
It's high time more men in this country started to fight for what made America a shining beacon to other nations at one point in history. And one of the reasons American dads have lost their way, is because they lost their faith somewhere along the way.
One of the coolest parts of my pastor's sermon today, was at the end of the service. He asked the men of the church, who were willing to walk in their faith, lead their families in their faith, and share their faith with the world - to stand up. Thanks to the faith my father taught me years ago, I stood up without hesitation. On my left, my 20 year old son stood up beside me. And we pledged along with the other men of our church to rise to our pastor's challenge.
Everyone knows military leaders like Roman Centurions had to go into battle. Paul wrote in the gospels, and I've cited it a few times in this blog how Christ fights battles with principalities and forces not of this world. But the Bible goes on to tell us exactly how that battle; that war, turns out. If you read God's Word, and you really get to know God the Father and His promises, and you gain the faith needed to know the War has already been won - why on Earth would you not stand up and fight, and even stand up and lead others... like a Centurion?
Food for thought on this Father's Day, 2022.