For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. … Hosea 8:7a
Hosea’s words about reaping the whirlwind have found a new application in the 21st century of North America. That calls for an explanation — an explanation which begins with a quiz. And, lest you’re wondering, it most certainly is not a trivia quiz. Just fill in the blank:
* According to the U.S. Department of Health, 63 percent of youth suicides come from _______ homes.
* According to the Center for Disease Control, 85 percent of all children with mental or behavioral disorders come from __________ homes.
* According to the National Principals Association 71 percent of high school dropouts come from ______________ homes.
* According to The Christian Post, girls are 711 percent more likely to have children as a teen, 53 percent less likely to marry as a teen, and 92 percent more likely to get divorced if they are from a ____________ home.
Well, did you figure out the answer?
To get 100 percent on the quiz you can put the word “fatherless” into each of the blanks above.
In spite of those frightening figures, in my lifetime I have seen society “sow the wind,” as fathers have gone from knowing best to knowing nothing at all. The king has deserted his castle and is now confined to his man cave. No longer revered and respected, dads are discounted and disregarded.
And where does the whirlwind come in? In this: even as the percentage of women who respect marriage is rising dramatically, the percentage of men who value marriage is dropping — like a stone. And who will pay the price for this shift in society? It will be the children, of course. You need not be a rocket scientist or brain surgeon to see the downward spiral this situation creates.
Now you may wonder what does all this have to do with a Devotion. Simply this: the homes of Christian men and women are to be different. We have a different standard, a different goal, a different direction. Most certainly, in Jesus, we have a different model to follow.
Paul showed us that model when he wrote, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
That is a concept the world has never understood. The best, the most noble idea it can come up with is “Marriage is a 50-50 proposition.” That is not what the Bible says. In Scripture fathers are told to emulate Jesus; they are told to give as Jesus gave.
That means giving when it’s not wanted, giving when it’s not appreciated, giving when it is not applauded. It means putting the welfare of others above that of yourself. It means giving until it hurts, giving even to the point where you are ready to sacrifice yourself.
We are to give because that is what Jesus has done for us. From start to finish, from beginning to end, Jesus’ life was dedicated to us. And we fathers with our families can honor our Lord and impact the future by doing as He did. Fathers are you listening?
Dear Lord, may our homes be blessed by Jesus’ presence. May our lives be lived trying to follow His example, in and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Grace and Peace