Burn the Ships!

the Ships!

When Hernando Cortez landed his ships in Mexico
in 1519, he may have been concerned about a mutiny, or determined to explore the
land before him, or he might have been thinking he would never have to return to
the ocean. Whatever he was thinking, he ordered his men to burn the ships.
Cortez was totally committed and allowed himself no option of turning back.

That is the level of complete commitment God
expects from Christian men to their wives and children, men who are sold out to
living as disciples of Jesus Christ.

America is experiencing a crisis of
fatherlessness, nearly half of American kids are being raised with out a Dad in
the home, approximately 30% of babies are born to single mothers, 50% of first
marriages will end in divorce, and the best predictor of violent crime in any
neighborhood is the proportion of fatherless homes. 
This is just the tip of the iceberg of discouraging statistics on the
effects on children growing up without a father. 

What is going on? 
Men could blame feminism; it has certainly worked overtime to diminish
the importance of men and the role of fatherhood. 
I suppose we could blame the media, they have been effective in
portraying fathers as morons, especially in children programming. 
Of course, governmental social policies, i.e. welfare, have contributed
to financially encourage parental irresponsibility as well. 

But the truth is that while these factors have
all played a role, this crisis is not being caused by anything other than men
choosing to avoid their God given duties and disconnect from family life on a
massive scale.  The true reason can
be traced back to the same destructive cause of most our nation's social
issues: selfishness. 
Life gets a little hard, finances stretched, job stinks, an attractive
woman comes along, and men are simply bailing on their families. 

Isn't this the message we all hear daily? 
Doesn't our culture encourage everyone to place self-fulfillment above
all?  If it feels good, do it! 
Responsibility, complete commitment, self-sacrifice, and devotion are
considered antiquated, outdated, notions.  Admirable
yes, but just not practical in this day and age. 
Get with the times, even America's churches are pandering to men with
shallow, practical application sermons that reach out to guys consumed with
their own desires.  Don't take me
wrong, the church is very concerned about men being active in their
congregations, deeply concerned with their participation in the endless
programs, small groups, the golf outings, Saturday breakfast, driving the
parking lot shuttle, and staffing the espresso machine.

 Unfortunately, being active and involved fathers, loving and
caring husbands, spending daily time in God's Word, and learning what it means
to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ are rarely mentioned from many pulpits and
the result is a plentiful crop of spiritual couch potatoes living no differently
than the pagan next door.  Our
society is reaping a bountiful harvest of churchgoing men who consider
themselves Christians, well versed in the lesson that they deserve to be happy,
that God Himself wants them to be happy, and sorely lacking the spiritual
maturity to understand that God's definition of joy and the world's
definition of happiness are two entirely different things.   

C.S. Lewis wrote, "Sin is acting as though
'my will be done', instead of 'Thy will be done'". 
In sin, we freely choose the created, ourselves, over the Creator. 
Fathers are the visible link children have to their Father in heaven. 
The viewpoint our children develop about God is imparted from our own
actions as dads and husbands.  The
importance of fatherhood must be stressed by our pastors as much as it is in the
Bible.  Pastors – preach the whole
gospel.  Hell and damnation are
realities, and it does no one any service to ignore them. 
Educate us on the consequences of shirking our roles as fathers and
husbands.  Encourage the spiritual
discipline needed to live for Jesus Christ. 
A father's job is to prepare his family for the battles of life,
Christianizing our culture.  Take a
good look at the public square in 2005 and it is apparent that there is a battle
going on and the Church of Jesus Christ needs every able man to put on the whole
armor of God and burn their ship!     

Lowell E. and Tamara R. Scott are parents of four children and are active
in political and social policy issues.  Tamara
is a State Director for Concerned Women for America, a radio host of Update
Today on New Life 1150, and a frequent guest on several nationally syndicated
radio shows..  Both are active on
the Leadership Development Council of the Iowa Family Policy Center. Lowell
teaches a Christian Worldview Sunday school class, and has worked in the
hotel/restaurant business for over 30 years.

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