Father’s Day affords us the opportunity to appreciate the men in our lives and reflect on their critical role in our family and church. The post below grew out of a panel discussion facilitated by Mike Hamilton, Show Hope, and joined by Jedd Medefind, CAFO; Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife; Russell Moore, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; and Ruslan Maliuta, World Without Orphans.
Here are 4 truths:
1. We desperately need to engage men in the story.
God often touches the hearts and lives of women first, and then it’s up to their husbands if they’re going to allow their partner in life to speak into their lives and prayerfully consider what they’re exhorting them to do. Bottom line: Fatherless implies the absence and the need for men to get involved in orphan care.
2. We’ve got to correct the perception that orphan care is women’s work. God has called all of us to engage. James 1:27 is not written to women. It’s written to men and women in the church.
Specifically as it applies to orphans, men sometimes think, “Oh! That’s a caregiving activity. I will leave it to the women.” This response to the fatherless is a misunderstanding of caregiving. As God so perfectly demonstrates throughout Scripture, caregiving is a masculine activity, too. Masculinity rightly understood includes tenderness alongside strength.
Orphan care is, at its root, a battle on behalf of the next generation. God is calling men to stand between fatherless children and a world full of dangers. Defend the cause of the fatherless.
3. Every man must discover God’s heart for orphans and ask himself the question, “How does it impact me?”
Orphan care is counter-cultural in every culture. Human nature says, “If it’s my genetic material, I will protect it and nurture it, and if not, no thank you.” It’s only the gospel that tells the story that this is what God did for us. The gospel is the one powerful culture changer on earth.
4. The enemy wants to convince us that one person can’t make a difference. So if he gets enough one persons who don’t think they can make a difference, what happens? We don’t end up making a difference.
We have many men who are involved in orphan care and we praise God for that! What we need more of in local congregations are men who are leading and initiating. As men, we must rise and say, “This matters, and we are going to lead.”