This weekend, we’ll be celebrating Father’s Day.  It comes after Mother’s Day. That’s so the bills for Mother’s Day will arrive just in time for Father’s Day. A small boy’s definition: “Father’s Day is just like Mother’s Day, only you don’t spend as much on the present.” In my collection of illustrations for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I find that there are way more jokes about fathers than about mothers. Mothers are honored more, while fathers are exhorted more.  Everywhere I look, I find fathers being exhorted and challenged to be better fathers in all the facets that entails. I’ve been troubled about it more than once. I think I’ve found the answer! It’s simple: men “ARE” responsible. This will sound very sexist. I don’t care!

In Romans Chapter 5, Paul contrasts Adam, the first man and the father of all humanity with Jesus Christ, who he calls the second Adam, the founder and father of a new humanity. In verse 12, he says, “Therefore just as through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world and death through sin …” If we would just consider the implications of this verse with reference to Fathers in General, I think we’d see a certain responsibility for the act of rebellion that condemned all his ancestors to death.  Further, even though Eve was the one, Satan picked to tempt with the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and even though she was the first one to eat of the tree, that didn’t make any difference to God in Genesis 3, nor to Paul in Romans 5. God and Paul both hold the man responsible for the rebellion. In Genesis 3:9, we read, “The LORD God called the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He didn’t call the couple. He called Adam. The responsibility was his. And when Paul talks about how sin entered the world and how we are all now sinners because of that first sin, he looks straight to Adam and not to Eve as the responsible one. Men have a spiritual obligation that cannot be passed on to others.

This has been demonstrated over and over again in studies on the Family and spirituality.  According to a reliable and popular study, we find that if both your parents worshipped with you regularly while you were growing up, there’s an 80 percent likelihood that you’ll worship God regularly as an adult. If only your mother worshipped regularly with you, there’s only a 30 percent probability that you’ll worship regularly as an adult. If only your father worshipped regularly with you, the likelihood that you’ll worship regularly as an adult increases to 70 percent!  Fathers have an enormous impact on their children’s faith and values. One of a father’s most important ministries is worshipping with their kids! Yet, in the church (including mine), there are more women in attendance, more serving, and more in most ministries. I think God is still asking, “Adam, where are you?”