Subscribe via RSS Feed

Celebrating Fathers in a Fatherless Society

Happy Monday!

Yesterday was Father’s Day. I am grateful for my father. He has always been fully present in my seven siblings’ and my life. We certainly credit his involvement, as well as mom’s participation for any good that we have experienced.

Thank God for parents!

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education convened a group of faith, education, and governmental leaders to discuss the national situation of fathers, families and education. I was humbled to join the conversation on behalf of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conferences’ Faith and Education Coalition.

In our conversation, it was evident that social scientific research and sacred texts agree that fathers are crucial figures in the life and development of children. Indeed, there is an opportunity for private-public partnerships (faith-based and governmental organizations) to address the dismal reality of absent fathers in our society.

The National Center for Fathering points to our society’s appalling extent of fatherlessness:

More than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father.  Millions more have dads who are physically present, but emotionally absent.  If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency.

To add to this research, a few years ago Prison Fellowship re-published a very thought-provoking article concerning children with fathers in prison. The article points out, in part:

There are 2.7 million children with a parent in prison or jail. Ninety-five percent (95%) of all inmates will eventually be released. Ninety-two percent (92%) of parents in prison are fathers. Most — 2 out of 3 inmates — will re-offend and be back in prison.

When it comes to fatherhood and prison, we are locking too many dads in jail with little to no help.

Yesterday, I preached the Father’s Day Sermon at Victory Church in Yorktown, Virginia. The title of the sermon was “Rise Up and Walk,” based on Acts 3:1–10.

  1. The message explained that the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Acts 2was the Jesus’ name power in Acts 3 that Peter and John offered to the lame man;
  2. The message challenged men to get up and get moving with their lives in the name of Jesus;
  3. The message showed how in the text, the lame man needed other men to help him. Peter and John commanded the man to get up and walk and then gave the man a hand up.

They reached out to grab the man’s right hand because in Hebraic tradition, the right hand is the hand of power.

The lame man needed men to empower him to do what they commanded him to do. As a result, the lame man was able to do what he had never been able to do but always wanted to do.

Pin It
Page 1 of 212

Tags: , , ,

Category: Living the Faith, Spring 2017

About the Author: Antipas L. Harris, D.Min. (Boston University), S.T.M. (Yale University Divinity School), M.Div. (Emory University), is the president-dean of Jakes Divinity School and associate pastor at The Potter’s House of Dallas, TX, and the founding dean of the Urban Renewal Center in Norfolk, Virginia. He is the Criminal Justice System Director for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) and president of the Global Institute for Empowerment & Leadership Development, known as GIELD. He has additional experience as an educator, academic lecturer, itinerant preacher, pastor, youth director, motivational speaker, and Christian musician. He is the author of Is Christianity the White Man's Religion?: How the Bible Is Good News for People of Color (IVP, 2020), The Holy Spirit and Social Justice: Scripture and Theology (2019), Holy Spirit, Holy Living: A Practical Theology of Holiness for Twenty-first Century Churches (Wipf & Stock, 2013) and Unstoppable Success: 7 Ways to Flourish in Your Boundless Potential (High Bridge Books, 2014). | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  • Connect with

    Subscribe via Twitter Followers   Subscribe via Facebook Fans
  • Recent Comments

  • Featured Authors

    Amos Yong is Professor of Theology & Mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. His graduate education includes degree...

    Jelle Creemers: Theological Dialogue with Classical Pentecostals

    Antipas L. Harris, D.Min. (Boston University), S.T.M. (Yale University Divinity School), M.Div. (Emory University), is the president-dean of Jakes Divinity School and associate pasto...

    Invitation: Stories about transformation

    Craig S. Keener, Ph.D. (Duke University), is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is author of many books<...

    Studies in Acts

    Daniel A. Brown, PhD, planted The Coastlands, a church near Santa Cruz, California, serving as Senior Pastor for 22 years. Daniel has authored four books and numerous articles, but h...

    Will I Still Be Me After Death?