Today my first child was born, Micah Franklin Steele. It is both scary and an honor to be blessed with the role of fatherhood. This event made me think about a post I wrote about fathers on December 21, 2006.
As I have spent time reading fairy tales one interesting thing I discovered were the number of weak or absent fathers in the stories. Stories such as Hansel and Grethel, Cinderella, and Snow White all share this element of a weak or absent father. In Cinderella this is disturbing because the father sees how his daughter is treated and does nothing to intervene. It is even more disturbing in Hansel and Grethel because the father gives into his wife’s (the children’s stepmother) demands and takes the two children out into the woods to kill them.
What does this tell us about the life we are living? Is there any lesson that we can learn?
One truth we can learn is how important fathers are in the lives of their children. When the father is absent or fails to protect his children they will needlessly suffer. It is true that even the best father cannot keep bad things from happening to his children, but an absent father or weak father will allow the world to viciously attack his children without doing anything to intervene.
How many girls enter into damaging relationships because they missed out on their father’s approval? How many boys become sexually active to prove they are men because their father was never there to tell them what being a man was all about? How many children have lost the innocence of their childhood all because their fathers would not fight for them?
Cinderella and Snow White would never had to have a prince rescue them if their fathers had fought for them. The horrible experiences these heroines experienced were the result of fathers who refused to do the right thing.
What a high calling God has placed on men who are fathers! The importance of a father’s love, attention, and protection cannot be understated in the life of children. When a child has these things it provides them with the necessary resources to face the difficulties of the world.
It is good to know that even if our earthly fathers abandon us, God, our Heavenly Father, is still by our side. He will provide us with the love and encouragement that we need. He will make sure we have everything needed to live the life He created us to live.
Peter wrote about God's complete provision for our lives.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, (2 Peter 1:3; ESV)
May we not forget the lessons taught to us through fairy tales. It is essential that fathers are an active part in the lives of their children. When fathers are not an active part of the lives of their children it will mean that their children will suffer hardships that otherwise they would not have faced.
Thank God that He loves us and that He provides the essentials we need for life. Even if your earthly father doesn’t want you, your Heavenly Father wants you to be part of His family.
So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family–calling him “Father, dear Father.” For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we will share his treasures–for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:15-17; NLT).