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A Life-Shaping, Sacred Mission

Thursday, June 13, 2024 @ 02:25 PM A Life-Shaping, Sacred Mission Jordan Chamblee Stand Writer MORE

“Fatherhood is a God-given station of mission,” said Abraham Hamilton III, AFA general counsel. “We have the opportunity as fathers to shape destinies, to shape societies.”

As a father, pastor, and host of The Hamilton Corner on American Family Radio, Hamilton is well aware of the spiritual attack on American families, particularly on men and the biblical role of fatherhood.

In fact, a report from America First Policy Institute (AFPI) brought to light the crisis of fatherlessness sweeping the nation. Approximately one in four children in the United States, a total of 18.3 million children, lived without a father present in their homes in 2022.

The AFPI report highlighted the many negative impacts associated with fatherlessness. According to the report, children from fatherless homes are twice as likely to suffer from mental health issues and behavioral problems compared to those living with both parents in one home. The data indicates that these children have a nearly five times greater chance of developing mood disorders, are 279% more likely to deal drugs, and will face significantly higher risks of substance abuse, suicide attempts, teenage pregnancies, incarceration, and dropping out of school.

Cultural assault on masculinity

The Stand spoke to Hamilton to examine this troubling trend through a biblical lens. Hamilton was quick to lay bare one of the driving forces behind the rise of fatherlessness – a prevailing anti-masculine rhetoric.

“Our culture peddles a lie that men are obsolete and disposable,” he asserted. “While professing to uplift women, it actively undermines true femininity by pushing them to adopt masculine traits and roles. Simultaneously, it marginalizes and even attempts to erase masculinity and downplay the contributions of men in society.”

He pointed to examples in children’s entertainment and media in general that diminish and sideline fathers and masculine role models. According to Hamilton, rather than promoting healthy gender distinctions and the complementary natures of men and women, the cultural current pushes an anti-masculine narrative that inevitably contributes to the erosion of fatherhood.

Despite this, he remains hopeful that this misguided perspective will ultimately fail because it runs counter to an intrinsic longing for authentic masculinity.

“Both men and women are drawn to portrayals and archetypes of masculinity that align with God’s design of equal- but-complementary gender roles,” he stated. “The simple reality is that men and women need each other – and that will never change.”

Biblical design for fatherhood

So how can a father fulfill the role God has for him in such a hostile culture? The answer, Hamilton asserted, is to look to the Heavenly Father as the perfect model and source of guidance.

“The most vital advice I can offer is this,” he said, “Immerse yourself in the study of Scripture. Dive deeply into God’s holy Word to truly understand the character of our heavenly Father, as revealed through His interactions with humanity throughout the biblical narrative. Then, having gained that intimate knowledge, diligently strive to cultivate those same godly qualities within your own heart. Pattern your life after the ultimate model of ideal fatherhood. Let the Word be the wellspring from which you draw wisdom to become the man, the husband, the father that He has called you to be.”

Hamilton pointed out that from the very beginning, fatherhood was part of God’s intentional design, as seen in His introduction of the concept before any biological fathers existed.

“In the very beginning, God gave significance to the role of father when He declared in Matthew 19:5, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife.’ Though Adam and Eve had no biological parents themselves, God deliberately instituted the concept of fatherhood at the dawn of human existence,” Hamilton explained. “God had a distinct vision in mind when establishing the station of fatherhood. This was no mere afterthought, but a divine foundation stone upon which to build families and civilizations. From the beginning, fatherhood carried meaning in the Lord’s plan for humanity.”

Profound impact

For Christian fathers, Hamilton offered a ringing encouragement and reminder of the great impact they can have. He exhorted them to recognize their sacred role in shaping the paths of their children and future generations through intentional discipleship in the home.

“We have the profound opportunity to literally shape the destinies of our children and, by extension, the future of our communities,” said Hamilton. “Fatherhood is a sacred calling, a missional station from which we discharge our faithfulness to God Himself. By selflessly loving and leading our children, our most immediate neighbors, we fulfill this high calling. Our fatherhood becomes an act of worship and service to the Lord Who entrusted us with this responsibility.”

Rather than feeling burdened by the weight of responsibility, Hamilton held that present and engaged fathers should see their role as the highest privilege and an act of worship – a sacred calling to embody the love and character of the heavenly Father.

According to Hamilton, “We must approach fatherhood with this perspective – recognizing it as a privileged opportunity to have an impact on lives and legacies. Though the day-to-day dynamics will change over time, our core purpose remains.

“By God’s grace,” he added, “I want to serve the Lord to the fullest by embodying the role He designed for fathers within our homes. Faithful fatherhood is our highest and most enduring call – it is our missionary charge, our spiritual investment, and an act of worship. The home is the front line where this sacred work begins. If we embrace this mindset, our households become outposts of discipleship, imparting the truth to the next generation.”

Hope in the heavenly Father

But what about fathers who come from fatherless homes, themselves? Hamilton offered an encouraging word about overcoming brokenness and finding hope, that God Himself can fill that void as the perfect heavenly Father.

“For those who did not have an earthly father, one of the most powerful truths is that of being born again into a new, spiritual family,” Hamilton explained. “Through regeneration, the fatherless gain an eternal, loving Father in God Himself. He not only provides the fatherly love, guidance, and security so desperately needed, but goes far beyond.

“As the perfect heavenly Father, He can mend the wounds of fatherlessness and equip those without role models to become the kind of godly fathers that represent His image,” he added. “No matter how deep the lack or how dysfunctional the background is, the Lord stands ready to train and shape His sons into faithful, sacrificial leaders for their families. The spiritual rebirth offers profound hope – the opportunity to break cycles of absentee fatherhood and to create an eternal, godly legacy.”  

(Digital Editor's Note: This article was published first in the June 2024 print edition of The Stand. Click HERE to get a free six-month subscription.)

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