Happy Fathers Day

James Dobson describes the straight life for men:

“The straight life for a working man is not much simpler. It is pulling your tired frame out of bed, five days a week, fifty weeks out of the year. It is earning a two-week vacation in August, and choosing a trip that will please the kids. The straight life is spending your money wisely when you’d rather indulge yourself in a new whatever; it is taking your son bike riding on Saturday when you want so badly to watch the baseball game; it is cleaning out the garage on your day off after working sixty hours the prior week. The straight life is coping with head colds and engine tune-ups and crab grass and income-tax forms; it is taking your family to church on Sunday when you’ve heard every idea the minister has to offer; it is giving a portion of your income to God’s work when you already wonder how ends will meet. The straight life for the ordinary, garden-variety husband and father is everything I have listed and more…much more.

Happy Father’s Day!


I should have taken more time when I posted this, based on the comments I’ve received. I don’t think Dr. Dobson is _complaining_, and I certainly am not. Instead, he is calling men to live this straight life of self sacrifice and obedience to God.

This “straight life” is not tedious or burdensome. It’s _glorious_. It’s strong, sacrificial, and _manly_. This is what we are called to!

Ephesians 5 says that the relationship between a husband and wife is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church. The relationship between a father and his children is an obvious picture of the relationship between _the_ Father and His children.

God’s relationship to us is marked by His self-sacrifice. Jesus laid down His life for us. This speaks to the way He _lived_ as well as His death. We are called to die daily for one another, and the obligation to our families is clearly first on the list.

God is glorified by sacrificing Himself for us. Self sacrifice is love. God is love. God’s dealings with us are marked by this self-sacrifice. And He is supremely glorified in it.

Similarly, men – as pictures of God the Father, and of Jesus – are called to lives of self-sacrifice. Not just a glorious “I’d die for you” mentality, but a _daily_ sacrifice. A _living_ sacrifice. God calls us to serve Him by serving our families. And it is glorious for us.

It is glorious to shoulder the burdens of protection and provision. It’s glorious to make sacrifices even with our leisure time. It’s glorious to give up our desires for our families. It’s glorious to take our families to church when we don’t feel like it. This is what God called us to.

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8 Responses to Happy Fathers Day

  1. MegLogan says:

    Wow, that was depressing. Praise God that isn’t how it really has to be! (I suppose you think this is how it really is. and Im a woman so how would I know? LOL) Well, Life doesn’t have to be HO HUM with God, and Kids are a blessing more exciting than a baseball game. You would think Dobson would have a brighter outlook!


  2. Robert says:

    Ooops – I didn’t mean it to be grumbling or depressing! I was in a hurry to post it on Father’s Day (note the time I posted – 11:52 pm) and should have written more! I’ll edit it.

  3. Steve says:

    If we are truly following God’s purpose for our life as a father, doing the things necessary to raise a family is not a chore, is not tedious, and it is nothing to regret. I would never give up a bike ride with my kids to watch a ballgame; they’re only going to be here for so long. If cleaning out the garage makes my wife happy, why wouldn’t I do it?
    I’m surprised this came from James Dobson. It sounds like a self-centered man trapped by life and idols, who has lost sight of his purpose as a father, as a Godly leader in his home.

  4. Steve says:

    As a caveat, my 17-year old daughter gave me the best Father’s Day gift I’ve received: A thank you note, thanking me for being a “Godly father, a leader in church, a hard worker, a teacher” and for taking the time to teach her (and her brother) about God and Jesus Christ, and how to be a Christian in today’s world.

    Okay, I’ll admit it; I cried when I read it. I’m going to frame it and put it under a spotlight right in the center of my awards and certificates. This is better than any award or recognition I could have possibly received in my 20+ years in the USAF!

  5. Robert says:

    Steve, I think you are badly misreading Dr. Dobson’s intentions with writing this. He is calling men to live “the straight life” of self sacrifice and obedience to Christ. He’s not grumbling about it.

  6. MegLogan says:

    i thought he was grumbling too.
    maybe it is just bad context.


  7. Patrick says:

    It certainly looks like a complaint to me as well, even after your caveat. It appears that Dobson views fatherhood as nothing but a burden. In view of this, if that’s the attitude I’m expected to have if I ever have children, I’m glad that I’m single.

  8. Robert says:

    Fatherhood _is_ a burden, as well as a blessing. To make it a bit more physical and less metaphorical, it’s a bit like physically carrying a child. A child being carried is a burden in the literal sense – “Something that is carried”. Children can get quite heavy when you are physically carrying them. But they are also a joy to carry.

    Fatherhood is a wonderful thing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, ball games, crabgrass, and all. I’m sure Dr. Dobson would agree.

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