On a day like today, much is done through the media, through the marketplace, both secular and Christian, and it leaves one wondering just what the fuss is all about. Isn’t today, just another Sunday? Is it just a gimmick foistered on us by popular culture? Should we not celebrate fatherhood, and motherhood every day, not just on a particular day?
This is the building that is our character, built on the foundation of what was modeled by our “dads”. I find comfort that much like erecting a building, sometimes there needs to be work done on the foundation, in order to save the rest of the building that may not be so tragically flawed. But when the damage is severe in a foundation, no matter how great the building that was erected upon it, the whole building, foundation and all will come crashing down, if the that same foundation is not repaired and rebuilt.
Our lives, in the eternal purposes of God have at their heart, the essence and nature of God, His image and character are stamped upon the hearts and minds of men. When we come to saving faith, we come to the recognition of a new beginning, and this beginning initiates the process of character development, renewal and transformation. For God so loved us, in our miserable estate, of dysfunction and sin, that He not only gave us His Son Jesus, but God is so loving, that He is not content NOT to leave us where He found us and saved us. As soon as we are redeemed and justified, whenever God deals with us, He sees only Jesus, and not our sins, our issues, or any of the crap that has yet to be dealt with. He only sees Jesus.
God is so loving that He has given us not only the comforter, His Spirit, but has commanded us to love one another, and embrace God’s abundance in daily living, and to become friends with Him and with one another (cf. John 10). Jesus addressed the disciples in this passage and shared how He was laying His life down for His friends. Laying down has more to do with laying down all that we are in and of ourselves, our wants, our desires, our abilities, our wants, our talents, our agendas and our purposes, to the serve and benefit others. In other words, it is forsaking our own lives, our own selves for the benefit of others.
In 1 John 3: 13 ff., the writer used the same language to describe how we are to lay down our lives for each other, modeling what Jesus spoke of in John 10. This same passage addresses the whole issue and need of our day for men, and that is to walk with Jesus AND other men, and to daily lay down ourselves and all our issues, and serve Jesus, and serve each other.
This is how we best celebrate our manhood, and the essence of fatherhood. Walking with Jesus and other men, and living accountable transparent lives, where we are in each others corner, and we walk with arms locked together, knowing God has intended us to walk with Him as friends, and to be friends one with another.
My hope for you today is that you not walk in isolation from relationship with God alone, but with God and with other men, TOGETHER! Enjoy your life in Christ, and enjoy the friends God has given you, and go and love and embrace and celebrate family with your wife and children, and thank Him for the gift of friendship and fatherhood.