Article source: JOY! Magazine

fatherhood-above-the-sun

“I have resolved to focus my ministry on restoring godly fatherhood. That’s my calling. Dysfunctional fathering is the root problem and godly fathering is the solution. It’s as simple as that.”

In the first chapters of Ecclesiastes Solomon aptly described ungodly, worldly existence that is, “life under the sun,” as “meaningless, vanity, a chasing after the wind.” Fathering “under the sun” has been on a downward spiral ever since the fall of Adam, our first father. Fatherlessness, the personal wounds it causes, and the resulting societal ills, make the HIV/AIDS pandemic of the late 20th century and the recent global coronavirus scourge look like child’s play. Unless intentional fathering is being aggressively taught and demonstrated, and the “hearts of the fathers turn towards their children and the hearts of the children turn towards their fathers,’ how can we avert “the earth being struck with a curse” from God? Things are so bad that it looks like we are already cursed. When fathers fail to love their families … the resulting rejection spawns anger and violence. When fathers fail to bond their families together … deep loneliness and isolation ensue. When fathers fail to lead … a severe crisis of identity and purpose breeds wholesale despair and emotional/mental instability. When fathers fail to provide … their families become paralysed in poverty and underachievement.

“Whatever time we have left needs to serve ultimate purpose – loving God, loving our neighbours (family first), and obeying the Great Commission – particularly through making disciples of men – like Jesus did.“

Here in South Africa, church attendance by men and fathers, especially men of colour, is down. “Despite being the largest ethnic group to attend a place of worship, 70-80% of black men do not attend church services, either in person or online. This trend is concerning, especially since over 80% of those who do not attend consider themselves religious and believe in a higher power” (Tate, 2023). There is a direct correlation between the rising number of unchurched men and the rising degradation and dysfunction in society. Without our churches reaching men, converting them, and discipling them, our churches limp, our communities stumble, and our nation falls apart. The intense discipleship of males is a case of do or die. As a pastor, a father, and a man (of colour), I cannot look the other way. I am called to be “salt and light”. Men’s and father’s lives fall apart without Jesus as their cornerstone. Every father needs to know who to lean on in the storms of life – the rock of ages, the sure foundation (Isa 28:16), the only foundation (1 Cor 3:11), namely Christ Jesus. Jesus is enough. Human fathers are not enough. Christ is the “Everlasting Father” (Isa 9:6).

Buy yours copies of this book from Legacy Publishers: books@legacypublishers.co.za.
EBook & hardcopy available on Amazon

This book answers great existential questions of manhood and fatherhood:
Why was I created male? What is my purpose as a father? How can I find fulfilment as a man/father?

Relevant for all
We have tried to create a very practical, affordable handbook for men of every possible class and culture based on timeless biblical principles fully cognisant of the immense gender and cultural attack on the Christian/biblical definitions of family and gender roles.

Get everybody on board
Pastors – our vision is to give you and your church a tool with which to equip men to disciple other men as godly fathers. Get the workbook, form a group, and work through the material. It will change lives. Wives, mothers, girlfriends – get the book and workbook for your men and watch their lives transform.

fatherhood-above-the-sun

Authors Theo Roman and Russell Toohey, joined with their beautiful wives, at a recent book signing.

Jointly Theo and Russell have over 70 years of ministry experience that they have distilled into Fatherhood Above the Sun with sound biblical teaching, practical wisdom, and engaging, transparent stories from their lives.

Q&A with the authors

Q. How do the timeless biblical principles presented in your book guide fathers in navigating the complexities of modern family life?
We have tried to address fatherhood and its challenges from a strong biblical basis because of the life and power that are inherent in the Word. We have also used the “word made flesh” through telling our own stories relative to every subject (in what is hopefully an unpretentious, relatable way) in an effort to make our content more accessible.

Q. Can you highlight a few practical tips from the book that fathers can immediately apply to enhance their role within the family?
We include discussion/reflection questions at the end of each chapter. These are questions we have both used as conversation starters in our men’s groups to pry guys’ lives open as part of a process of healing and restoration. The fatherhood problem has taken a long time to create and there aren’t any quick-fix solutions. Reforming men and fathers in the image of Jesus Christ is the most important task on the planet.

Q. What kind of impact have you observed when men come together to explore and apply the teachings on godly fatherhood collectively?
The group work has been both heartening and exasperating. Heartening because of the restoration and growth (in them and us), and exasperating because the progress we have made just highlights how much more we need to do to reach the rest of our country and our world. The principles we teach need to be applied with love – with lots of connection and relational time. Principles on their own have their limitations.

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Date published: 16/03/2024

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