Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
In the early to mid-20th century in the United States, many men were in the military fighting for their country where they had strong leadership, strong brotherhood, and strong masculinity.
By 1945, at the end of World War II, 12 million men were in the military, and most had been deployed, which counted for nine percent of the total U.S. population at the time.
While they were gone and soon after they got back, a curious trend took place within churches. As they were fighting for our country, women and children were the ones left behind, attending church, and making the decisions for what church should look and feel like.
As men returned from war, they were so accustomed to a hypermasculine environment in the military that they weren’t interested in a hyperfeminine church with burgundy carpet and floral wallpaper where they’d sing hymns in so high of a key that only dogs could hear the tone.
Rather than changing the culture of church, men became more and more disinterested, which continues in many churches up to this day where most attendees are women and children.
According to a study by Promise Keepers and Baptist Press:
- If a wife attends church without her husband, there’s just a 2% chance their children will attend church regularly when they grow up.
- If a father attends church irregularly, there’s a 50-67% chance his children will attend church with some regularity as adults.
- If a father attends church regularly, there’s a 67-75% chance his children will attend church regularly as adults (whether or not the mother attends).
It’s my hope, prayer, and goal and that of Trinity Church, which I started with my family and have the honor of being the senior pastor, that families go to church together, and that church has community for every part of the family and every stage of life.
As church seems to be the only pro-family community left on earth, I would call on men to lead their families into the doors of a Bible-teaching church where the entire family can grow together, where marriages would be strengthened and where, as we say at Trinity, “lives and legacies are transformed.”
How can you pastor your family (if you’re a parent) or encourage others in your life, if you’re not yet a parent?
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