A Boat that Won’t Float Downstream (Colossians 3:21)

When the New Testament addresses parenting, it is the father who is addressed. There are only two places in the New Testament where parenting is explicitly dealt with.

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4 ESV)

“Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” (Colossians 3:21 ESV)

The father is the head. The father is responsible.

Adam’s first sin was that he failed to be responsible. Following on the heels of this, he sinned by failing to take responsibility for his irresponsibility. First, Adam does nothing. He received the charge to keep, to guard and protect the garden. When the snake came. He did nothing.

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6 ESV)

When Adam did do something, it was just as bad as his doing nothing; he blamed his wife. “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate (Genesis 3:12 ESV).”

When there was sin in the garden, God came calling for Adam. Men, when the fruit of sin is eaten in your home, when the lies of Satan are tolerated in your garden, it’s you God will call for. When a general loses a war, he can’t whine about the soldiers. A good general will bark at the soldiers, but he may not blame them. This isn’t to give a father license to bark, but to show the sissiness of blame shifting.

Responsibility travels upstream. You can’t float the boat of responsibility downstream with a thousand oars. Responsibility always goes up, so you can’t pass the blame down. Fathers, beware of blame shifting in the home, for the only step up from you is the Father. This is what Adam did when he said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me.”

Sacrificial responsibility is something a man can bear only in the Second Adam—the Christ, who though innocent, bore responsibility for our sins.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s