2 Timothy chapter 3 warns us of the final generation that is coming in the last days: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” St. Paul prophetically foretold what the last generation would look like as they act out their contempt for Jesus Christ. The question that all the generations before us asked as they read this passage was: “What could create such a depraved generation? And why will it be so different from all the generations that came before?”
If you are 45 years old, you were alive to see what no one has ever seen in all of history before you: you were alive to witness the enactment of no-fault divorce laws that weakened and undermined the bond of marriage. Only a couple years after that, you were alive to see the legalization of infanticide otherwise known as abortion. And of course today we’re all witnessing this satanic trifecta being completed as homosexual marriage perverts the very sanctity of marriage itself.
There’s an ancient Chinese curse that says, “May you live in interesting times.” Because there isn’t much of a show for the neighbors when a family is contented and happy and peaceful the way there is when there is screaming and violence and the police come. We are living out the curse of “interesting times” today as our entire society dissolves into chaos and depravity. We watch these interesting times on our television screens as cities burn down on a regular basis as the children of broken families grow up to riot and loot and burn and murder. And that’s not just going on in Detroit or Chicago or Cleveland or Baltimore or Ferguson; our very own city is on the list as being one of the 100 most violent cities in America. 2 Timothy 3 is literally HERE in these evil last days.
And I submit to you that much of that chaos and depravity and deterioration of society can be traced to the destruction of fatherhood by a demonic culture that is rapidly preparing to worship the beast of Revelation and take his mark on their right hands, or on their foreheads.
How does God relate to us? Do we pray, “Our Mother which art in heaven…” No. God relates to us as our FATHER.
Now, every good thing that is in women and in mothers comes from God; for how did God create us? Genesis 1:27 says it very clearly: “So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” Every good thing that is feminine comes from God, just as every good thing that is masculine comes from the same God who created us all in His image. But I believe that while Satan has a hatred of wives and mothers, he has a special hatred for husbands and fathers and for fatherhood, because God reveals Himself as Father and because Satan knows that if he can dissolve the bond between a child and a father, that he can dissolve the bond between a Father God and a generation that doesn’t even know what a father is.
There are so many among us today who have profound difficulty relating to Father God because they look at their own lives and realize, “My father abandoned me. My father was never there for me. My father beat us. My father was a mean drunk. My father hurt me. And now I’m supposed to find comfort and love and fulfillment in a Father?” In these last days we are seeing as never before the demonic arsenal arrayed against men, against husbands, against fathers.
Fatherhood is under demonic attack and as a result of that attack families have collapsed into dysfunction, ignorance, poverty, and violence; but Christian families can be salt and light to the world as Christian husbands model Christ and as Christian wives submit to his leadership and support him.
The decline in marriage during my lifetime due to the war on marriage and abortion has been stunning. The rate of marriage has dropped SIXTY PERCENT in the time since I was a six year old boy in 1970. Children living with their mother only has increased by over 129 percent. And the polls prove that acceptance of out-of-wedlock births has skyrocketed even as the rate of marriage has plunged: from 41% in 2002 – which was awful enough – to an overwhelming majority of 61% acceptance of out-of-wedlock births today. Just in my lifetime. What effect has had on our society? On our kids?
As terrible a blow to marriage as no-fault divorce was, I believe that abortion has been far, far deadlier to marriage and to the families that marriages bind together. To give you an idea of how murderous the abortion industry has been, allow me to provide a comparison: What was the worst, the bloodiest, the deadliest war in all of human history? World War II. How many died? We have an official toll: across the world, on all sides, civilian and military combined, 56,125,262 human beings died during World War II. Get ready for a hard punch in the gut: As of January 2014 the number of abortions since Roe v. Wade in 1973 totaled 56,662,169. In America’s war against its own children we have now exceeded the death toll of the deadliest and most vicious war in the history of the human race. We have literally murdered ten times more of our own babies than Hitler murdered Jews in the Holocaust. Or consider the Vietnam War with its 58,000 U.S. servicemen killed in action. A million is a thousand thousand: for every U.S. soldier who was killed during the Vietnam War, we have now murdered more than one thousand of our own children! I think of Psalm 139:13: “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” I think of Jeremiah 1:5 and the God who declared, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”
Science is actually clear on what abortion kills: we have a rigorous system of taxonomy that classifies every single living thing. And from the very moment of conception when a man and a woman first produce a child, that zygote in the womb is classified aas follows: Kingdom-Animal, Phylum-chordata, Class-Mammalia, Order-Primate, Family-Hominid, Genus-Homo and Species-Sapiens. It is classified as homo-sapiens, just as you and I are classified as homo-sapiens. Logic and philosphy are just as clear: that tiny little baby girl in the womb is “human” by virtue of her parents, she is a “being” vy virtue of the fact that she exists: she is a human being. The Word of God, religion, science, philosophy and logic all intersect here to uphold the sanctity of innocent human life in the womb. But in these last days we are no longer a society capable of caring about such things. Abortion is a grave moral evil; it is the genocide of the very most innocent of human life in the very place where it ought to be the very safest: in mommy’s womb.
But stop and think about what abortion has done; it didn’t just kill a baby; it kills fatherhood itself. That is because abortion is based on the premise that at the moment of conception that is NOT a baby in the womb; that is NOT a precious human being. It’s just a thing inside a woman’s body and so it’s her property and so she can kill it. At the moment of conception, does a father really father a child? No! Not if abortion is legitimate!!! He has merely contributed to an inanimate, non-sentient lump of goop and nothing more. And what is his “fatherhood” worth when what he conceived is a worthless thing that can be killed at a woman’s whim? Not much.
In Satan’s hatred for God and contempt for Fatherhood, fathers are NOT fathers and have NO right to their children. Given that fatherhood has been trivialized to nothing, given that fathers are now denied the most basic right to even the very life of their own children, given the destruction of what was once the sacred bond of marriage, the glue that kept fathers cemented to their families has been dissolved. And this has resulted is the terrible times foretold by 2 Timothy chapter 3.
Fatherhood is under demonic attack. Satan hates fathers because Satan hates the God who has revealed Himself as a Father. And it is THIS generation that has seen Satan descend in all-out war against fathers and against fatherhood.
And as a result of that demonic attack families have collapsed into poverty, drug addiction, ignorance, suicide and violence. Girls have lost the love and approval of their fathers; boys don’t even have a clue what it means to be a man. And what is the cost to children and to society? Some statistics:
Poverty: Children living in female-headed families with no father present had a poverty rate of 47.6 percent, over 4 times the rate in married-couple families. Drug addiction: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.” Again: according to US Department of Justice statistics, 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. Ignorance: 71% of high school dropouts are fatherless; fatherless children have more trouble academically, scoring poorly on tests of reading, mathematics, and thinking skills; children from father-absent homes are more likely to be truant from school, more likely to be excluded from school, more likely to leave school at age 16, and less likely to attain academic and professional qualifications in adulthood. Dropouts: According to the National Principals Association Report, 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. Behavior disorders: According to the Center for Disease Control, 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. Runaway children: 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average. Teen pregnancy: Girls whose fathers left when they were young were seven to eight times more at risk of becoming pregnant than adolescent than girls living with their fathers. A father’s departure between ages 6 to13 suggested a two to three times greater risk of becoming pregnant. Suicides: According to the US Dept. Of Health, 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes– 5 times the average. Crime and violence: Over the past thirty years, the rise in violent crime parallels the rise in families abandoned by fathers. Again: High-crime neighborhoods are characterized by high concentrations of families abandoned by fathers. Again: The rate of violent teenage crime corresponds with the number of families abandoned by fathers. How about this one: 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. Rapists: 80% of rapists come from fatherless homes –14 times the average.
“But mark this,” St. Paul soberly warned in 2 Timothy 3, “There will be terrible times in the last days.” And here they are as they have never been in the whole history of the world. When I was a child, the world wasn’t like this. Ignorance has begotten more ignorance and immorality has begotten more immorality as we grow more and more evil at a faster and faster rate.
Satan knew exactly what he was doing when he attacked the sanctity of marriage, because marriage is the bond that holds families together and makes them strong. Satan knew exactly what he was doing when he attacked fathers and undermined fatherhood. Because if dad is out of the picture that family is vulnerable. And this nation and millions of families bear the scars of the devil’s work.
Our toxic culture is not paying attention to men anymore. It refuses to honor men, respect them, submit to their authority. It’s become a cultural norm to disregard men, husbands, fathers. Is this working for the world? Is anyone willing to try the way God ordained His creation to function?
It shouldn’t be like this for Christians. After listing a host of sins that were similar to the kind of depravity we’re seeing all around us today, St. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:11, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” Or as Hebrews 6:9 says, “…we are convinced of better things in your case…” We don’t have to be like the world; we should NOT be like the world.
There is an ad campaign for adoption that goes, “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.” And of course NONE of us is perfect, are we? But you know what? I think that’s only HALF right: because I declare that if you are a parent looking down at your baby and you don’t WANT to be perfect for your child, there’s something wrong. And if you don’t want to be a perfect wife or a perfect husband for your spouse, there is something wrong. If you’re a true Christian you should ALL want to be perfect as you put on Christ. Let me declare that we Christians are the only ones in the world with the perfect role model for perfection: because we alone uniquely have Jesus. We alone uniquely have the Word of God that is God’s instruction manual for living a good and godly life.
There are a lot of people who misunderstand the Bible and think God is some giant misogynist who hates and oppresses women. But let’s look at a man’s and a husband’s and a father’s role: who did God create and ordain and equip to protect the other? A man lays his life down for his wife and family. Ephesians 5:25 declares, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Husbands are to be willing to literally give up their lives to protect their wives and kids. Just as Christ laid down His life for His Bride, the Church. That’s a charge to MEN, not to women. The Bible charges men to sacrificially lay down their very lives; and that’s why it charges women in the same passage of Ephesians 5 to submit to the headship of the men who are charged to sacrifice everything for their wives – just as these same wives submit to the LORD who laid down His life for them. That’s why Ephesians 5:22 says, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”
I look in the Bible in vain for the concept of women as combat warriors in place of men. The ONLY two examples of women involved in war in all of Scripture is the story in Judges 4 and 5 of the prophetess and judge Deborah and a woman named Jael. Deborah as a prophet called out a man named Barak to rise up against the Cannanites. And Jael tricked the Caananite general Sisera who fled from that defeat by killing him with a tent peg and hammer after she lured him under her rug. Neither of these women were called to take on a man in any kind of direct, face-to-face fighting.
There are a number of ways a woman can be a powerful Christian warrior: women are powerful prayer warriors whose prayers are as powerful as ANY man’s. But being a screaming blood-coated soldier on a battlefield is NOT ONE OF THEM. God did not call upon women to be our fighting machines. God wanted men to shelter women from violence. When you confuse the most basic differences between men and women, when you live in a culture that is so sick and so depraved and so blind that it says that women should play the role of men by fighting our wars while men should play the role of women in homosexual bedrooms, when any society flagrantly disregards the proper roles that God ordained for men and women, it is going to meet with disaster and ultimately destruction.
God intended woman to bring out the very best in man: the desire to rise up for the sake of woman and do whatever it takes to protect her, to provide for her, to give her a place of safety and security, to love her and give himself for her the way Christ loved His Church and gave up everything for His Bride and prepares a place for Her.
Instead, Fathers have been conditioned by a sick society to just walk away from their marriages, walk away from their children. Especially the most helpless of all children living in the wombs of their mothers. And pity the father who tries to stand up for the life of his child against all the unholy power of a demonic human government hell-bent on defending a woman’s right to kill that child. But let me tell you something: a godly man will walk away from his wife and children over his own dead body. Because a godly human father models a heavenly Father who declared according to Deuteronomy 31:6: “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
A husband and a father have the highest calling there can ever be: to lay down his life to protect his wife and family and to daily lead them with that same spirit of sacrificial leadership. That is not a requirement for a wife and mother, only a husband and father. And women are commanded by God to honor and respect their men for that and submit to their leadership. And one of the primary reasons that we are watching our society spiral out of control is our sick and depraved culture’s defiance to obey God displayed by violating God’s created order and neutering men and aborting fatherhood.
But there’s another reason that God ordained that husbands ought to lead and wives ought to submit to that leadership. We see this very clearly taught in 1 Timothy 2:13-14, which says, “For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” God had a purpose in creating man first before woman, and when women take certain forms of leadership over men they are violating and usurping that order. God created man first to lead. And when women OR men fail to confine themselves to their created function, but instead undermine or abandon divinely intended roles, spiritual vulnerability into deception and sin naturally follows. In other words, this passage does not necessarily teach that women are naturally and always more gullible and naïve than are men; I know very shrewd women and I know men you could sell the Golden Gate Bridge to. What God’s Word is saying is that Eve undermined and usurped the headship of her husband and it was because she was out of God’s intended role that she was more open to being deceived. Is it true that women tend to be more nurturing, more empathetic, more sensitive, more emotional, and more relationship-oriented than men? I believe that’s true. Is it true that men overwhelmingly use the left hemisphere of the brain – which is the seat of logical thinking – significantly more than women? That’s actually a scientific fact. Women use their entire brain to arrive at decisions; men zero in on the logical/analytic side. We could go around arguing all day which way is best. But what St. Paul is saying goes beyond logic or feelings or the different ways men’s and women’s brains function. St. Pauls’ ultimate point was simply this: When Satan came to Eve, she should have said, “Let me talk to my husband about this.” But she made the decision herself to eat the fruit, made herself the de facto leader, and as a result was not in a place of godly or wise decision-making. She was deceived because she left God’s sphere of blessing.
Sportscasters ironically refer to a horrible lack of communication between two teammates that results in an error with the other team scoring as “a husband-and-wife play.” We saw the ultimate example of that error and score for the devil when Eve usurped Adam’s role as head and followed Satan’s deception without her husband’s participation and left him out of the most important decision in the entire history of the human race.
Don’t forget what Jesus said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” So stand united.
May I suggest something? If you are not already doing a daily devotional in the Word of God as husband and wife, please begin doing one every single morning or every single evening. May I suggest that you pray together as husband and wife, as man and woman, with the man leading as man and wife share God’s Words with one another and pray for one another? If you do those two things, I believe this promise from Jeremiah 17:7-8 will begin to apply to your marriage: “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
So how then should men lead their wives? Let’s talk about that. Remember Ephesians 5:22? “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” Consider the context of that verse. Why should wives submit to their husbands? Verse 23 explains: “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior.” Which is to say that women should submit to their men because the same God who appointed Christ to be Head of His Bride the Church IN THE SAME WAY appointed men to be the heads of their wives and families. And therefore men should model Christ for their wives in the same way that Christ modeled Himself for His Bride. And what does that look like? Does it look like a dictatorship, even a benign one? NO!!!. Jesus said in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Jesus, as the ultimate model for all husbands, led as a Servant-leader Who gave up everything for His Bride. Philippians 2:3-11 shows us even more clearly what Jesus Christ’s servant leadership looks like: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself. Do not look out for your own interests, but also for the interests of others. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Jesus as God Incarnate revealed that the ultimate nature of the Christ men are to model for their wives is the humble heart of a servant, rather than a tyrant. Wives, THAT is Who you are ultimately submitting to when you submit to your husbands. Husbands, if Jesus could get over literally being God and lead with selfless humility, don’t you think you ought to be able to get over being “the man” and lead your wife in the same humble manner???
Let me end with this: According to Genesis 3:9, after the Fall in the Garden, “the LORD God called to the man and said to him ‘Where are you?’” I want you to notice that God doesn’t call to the woman; and He doesn’t call them both out: God calls the MAN out ALONE. In Hebrew it is masculine and singular. It’s as if God looked right at Adam as he hid and said, “I distinctly remember creating a MAN – a REAL man – but there doesn’t seem to be an actual MAN around here! Where ARE you, real man I created?”
And if you’re a man this morning, a husband, a father, where are YOU? Too many Christian men, Christian husbands, Christians fathers, are HIDING. In these last days Christian men must rise up and STAND AS MEN for your wives and your families. RISE UP the way God created you and ordained you and equipped you to stand up and LEAD. Your families desperately need you! And likewise in these last days Christian women and children must throw out the vicious feminist abortion mindset that defiantly screams, “I HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE!” Because the Word of God couldn’t be more clear: NO YOU DON’T. Christian women, Christian wives, RISE UP and STAND behind your men. Because the God over both men and women appointed that place as your place and sphere of ultimate blessing.