The Importance of Dad
Ask any of my daughters what tugs at my heart the most when we go into a Christmas shop, and
they'll tell you it's the nativity set. I've lost count of how many sets I actually have tucked away
with the family Christmas decorations. One porcelain set, still in the original box, came from my
husband's grandmother. Another set, piled into a Ziploc bag, has the cutest little Joseph with
low-cut robe and large ears. Granted, he's plastic and his son, the baby Jesus, was often found in
the microwave when our 2 year old Olivia decided he needed a special hiding place. Both
nativities mean the world to me and I can't imagine parting with either one.
I grew up knowing the true meaning of Christmas – why the holiday is actually celebrated. It all
goes back to that holy family. The Scriptures say a lot about our Savior's grand-entrance upon
this earth. Take, for instance, the prophecies. This was a birth that had been foretold centuries
before. It was a pre-planned event. From the national headlines that would take place at the
time of His birth (Jeremiah 31:15) to the location Mary and Joseph would travel (Hosea 11:1) to
the messenger who would prepare the people for Christ (Malachi 3:1), every detail was
The prophet Isaiah wrote: "Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call
His name Immanuel" (7:14). I love that we are given details about the mother of the child and
the child's name, but what about his father? Is this a part of the story that was overlooked? No
way! Actually, I believe that because Joseph was not a part of the prophecy, his choosing and
preparation to become the earthly father were that much more intentional.
According to Isaiah, the child would be born to a virgin; no mention of a father. Since Mary
would give birth to a child without seed from an earthly father, couldn't she also have raised the
child without one? Regardless of how we answer that question, the Scriptures are clear about the
importance of Joseph in this historic account. Every gospel that records the story of Christ's
birth certainly highlights the role of Joseph – his place in the genealogy, his betrothal to Mary,
and the angel's appearance to him personally on two occasions. These details, though not part of
the prophecy, are an integral part of the narrative. The heavenly Father was so concerned that
His one and only Son be born into a family that He made sure it happened that way.
Today, we've taken dad out of the equation for a healthy family, and that breaks my heart. I
know from experience and God's Word that Dad has a critical role in the life of a child and the
family as a whole. Without Dad, everything's a little off-balance. Without Dad, hearts are left
vulnerable and children search for a substitute. As a society we've learned to get by without
fathers. We've said that we can make it without them; we don't need their emotional support,
finances, or even their name on a birth certificate. We've belittled them in the media, showing
dads as clueless and classless compared to moms. And the sad thing is we've allowed this to go
on for so long, that our society has come to believe that dads are obsolete.
The truth is, dads are very important. Like it or not, God established the holy family as well as
the first family with a father at the helm. It was His perfect design.
Today, we would be wise to consider this and reclaim the importance of a father in every family.
At the New Life Clinic we see women all the time who are facing pregnancy, some with the
baby's father, many without. But every client seeking help in her pregnancy has a man who
helped make that pregnancy possible. And if that child is given the chance to live, he/she will
indeed have a father on this earth. I pray that we encourage fathers, not belittle them. That we
remind them of their worth and importance in the life of their child.
NLC has formally adopted the Dadz Initiative for Clinton County that was started last year and
housed at Job and Family Services. I am proud to share that we are consulting with Dave
Hinman, Dadz Program Director, to continue providing support for fathers all across this county.
In the work that we do as a pregnancy resource center, it is only fitting that we provide resources
for dads as well as moms. It is my prayer that our community understands the important role of
a father and provides support for those who see the value in doing family God's way.