The Readings (1 Sam. 15.34-16.7; Mark 4.26-33; and 2 Cor. 4.6-15) give us good teaching on the role of Fathers as co-creators with God, wives and friends, of the Kingdom of God on Earth. This is a spiritual kingdom based on love and faith where men are judged by what is in their heart, not by outward appearances. The two agricultural images of reaping what we sow and taking responsibility for sheep, help us understand what God expects men to do in our time.
1. Many men have lost their identity and authority in our time
Men and women were given their identity and authority by God. In Genesis 1.28 we are taught they are to ‘fill the earth and subdue it’.
The rest of the Bible is the story of how men and women have struggled to fill the earth and subdue it over the last 4,000 years. In our time there has been a serious loss of male identity and authority:
· Many men have not had fathers who taught them how to be a man and a father
· Many men have not read, been taught or studied the Bible
· Many men have either lost their faith or never had a faith
· Separated from God they have lost their identity & direction
· Separated from God they have lost their authority as priests to the family and become self-centred and isolated
· Women have shamed men and often replaced them as the spiritual authority in the family in our time
· Good news is that many men are now beginning to realize that they need to attend a church and join a Bible Study group to re-discover their identity
2. God judges men and women by the character of their heart