God Who Wants To Father
This is the time of year when we celebrate how God sent his Son into the world, to become just like us in order to save us. This, of course, implies that God is a parent of some kind–and we see, from Scripture, that, while he is supersexual (that is, beyond sexuality), he reveals himself as Father and Husband–consistently male. (There are also instances where God reveals himself as motherly, but the male descriptors are far more common.)
Does this mean that being male is inherently better? Of course not, for God created both men and women in his image. Neither is qualitatively better than the other. Because God is supersexual, all gender is found in him, and yet he cannot be sexualized. Had God revealed himself as female, as a Goddess, there is little doubt that he would have become sexualized and objectified like the goddesses of other ancient cultures.
But I also believe that God revealed himself primarily as Father because there is one very important thing that only a father can do, and that is to call the child into true personhood. It is from the father’s voice that we hear our name, our identity. There are myriad things that only the mother can do, but as a child moves into adolescence and young adulthood, they are waiting to hear the masculine voice saying, “You are a man”, or, “You are a woman”.
I’m convinced that the greatest threat to our culture is missing fathers, and fatherlessness has reached epidemic proportions. We have tried to make do without dads, but we simply cannot. Humans aren’t built that way. The government has been subsidizing fatherlessness among the poor classes for decades, but crime and destitution have only increased. Money is no substitute for the masculine voice.
But God wants to do something about this. He wants to father this generation of fatherless souls. As always, he wants to enact his plan through people. God wants to father this lost generation, and he wants to do it by raising up men to be the husbands and fathers he has called them to be. We have a generation of children–many of them fully grown and into their 30s and 40s–who have been unable to move beyond adolescence because they had no father to tell them who they are. God wants to tell these people who they are; he wants to initiate them into full personhood, and he wants to do it in partnership with the men of the church.
Don’t be upset that I’m not issuing a call to women, here. It’s not the women who have fallen asleep; it’s not the women who have disappeared. The women have not been negligent, but the men have. Men, this world needs you, desperately. You need to wake up. You need to engage. Don’t be distracted anymore; don’t let the world lull you to sleep. God has a task for you, and it’s going to take everything you’ve got and then some. The world is falling apart, and God is asking you to help him put it back together. In the words of Homer Simpson, “Heroism is calling. Will you accept the charges?”