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Church Message

Father’s Day in the Rearview Mirror
Lighting Up More Than the Grill

By Ronald Gallagher

Church message imageChurch sponsors jul17Father’s Day 2019 is in the rearview mirror now, but given the declining status of families in America these days and the significance that God attached to fatherhood, maybe one more look would be worthwhile. It’s certainly worth remembering that fatherhood is a product of God’s creative genius. It wasn’t developed by a bunch of godless, narcissistic liberals and progressives sporting Harvard degrees in sociology. When God said, "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” Eph. 6:4 (NKJV), He had more in view than fun times in the back yard. God was drawing a blueprint for a nation where baseball games, prayer meetings, concerts, and nights out at the movies could take place without fear of being shot by some crazed lunatic who feels compelled to kill those he disagrees with.

God closed out the Old Testament with a promise and a warning. A prophet would be coming with a special mission, and if that mission failed a curse would follow. He said:

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse. Malachi 4:5-6 (NKJV)

The collapse of traditional family units and the values associated with them has left in its vacuum a moral, ethical, and spiritual petri dish breeding toxic social bacteria. The anarchy playing out on our streets and in our homes and schools is, to a great extent, the product of kids being raised without fathers—and especially without strong, loving, spiritually mature fathers. We don’t have to wonder whether the curse God warned about will come, current conditions make it clear that it’s already upon us.

  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average. (Justice and Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
  • 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (U.S. Dept. of Justice)
  • 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Fulton Co. Georgia, Texas Dept. of Correction)
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes – 5 times the average. (US Dept. Of Health/Census)
  • Daughters of single parents without a father involved are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers
  • 711% more likely to have children as teenagers
  • 164% more likely to have a pre-marital birth
  • 92% more likely to get divorced
We hear a lot about "inflammatory rhetoric” these days, and someone is always calling on everyone else to tone down the incendiary language. I agree with much of that but have a related suggestion. Maybe it’s not that we’re using our words to strike matches, maybe it’s that we’re using them to inflame the wrong kinds of passions.

Heat can either be a source of positive energy or a devastating and destructive force. What if we ignited something on Father’s Day besides charcoal?

  • What if we used our words and influence to help spark efforts to push back against the curse of fatherlessness in ways that matter?
  • What if we turned up the positive heat by ending support for antifamily politicians and started speaking out against their destructive policies?
  • What if we stopped sending our kids to morally-bankrupt, anti- Christian colleges and universities and stopped pretending that the success of the school’s football team somehow makes up for the anti-Christian, anti- American bias polluting the hearts and minds of our students in the classrooms?
  • What if we got fired up enough to stop watching propaganda machines posing as mainstream journalism?
  • What if we stopped supporting profane ‘entertainers’ who take our money and use the platform we give them to undermine and attack everything we believe? And . . .
  • What if we got fired up enough to devote some of our money, influence, and energy toward keeping another kid from becoming somebody’s sex slave?
God asked a profound question. He said, A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Malachi 1:6a (NKJV)

Honoring our spiritual Father should not be relegated to one special day a year, or even one day a week. Instead of just lighting a grill in honor of fatherhood once a year, maybe we could reignite a passion in our hearts for the One who made that relationship possible.

In addition to being an active writer, speaker, teacher, and blogger, Ron Gallagher serves in a variety of roles as a ministry consultant for local churches. His Biblical insights are coupled with down-to-earth humor, satire, and relevant stories aimed at promoting "Right Side Up Thinking ~ in an Upside Down World.” Ron strives to apply God’s truth in a way that stimulates the mind, encourages the heart, and challenges the cultural norm.  Check out his blog, "Gallagher’s Pen” at

NEW BOOK . . .Ron’s new book, Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth, is now available on Amazon and through Lighthouse Bible Studies. Learn more at