As a special gift for all the dads out there this Father’s Day, Mark Driscoll and Re:Lit have released Pastor Dad: Scriptural Insights on Fatherhood. I know many folks are wary of Driscoll, some (rightly, for the most part) because of his tendency to go overboard with his language and others (less rightly, I believe) because of his position on family roles. If you’re concerned about Driscoll’s language and sense of humor, you will be pleasantly surprised; this book contains no crass humor, and the tone, in general, is very encouraging.
If you disagree with his position on family roles, this is definitely not going to be your favorite, but read it anyway.
Over the course of about 40 pages of text, Driscoll provides practical and pastoral insight into our roles as fathers (and husbands).”The first thing we must note,” says Driscoll, “is that before a man can be a good father, he has to be a good Christian. To be a good Christian he must realize that God is his Father, as Jesus taught us to pray” (p. 5). We cannot train our kids in righteousness if we ourselves are unrighteous.
If we are not men who fear the Lord, it doesn’t matter how much money we make, how great a job we have, because we cannot reproduce what we are not, nor are we a safe refuge for our children (see Prov. 14:26).
“God says that the safest place for children is with a man who fears the Lord. Men who fear God take God’s wisdom and use their masculine strength to create a fortress of protection and provision around their homes so that their wives and children can live freely and happily under their care. Practically, this means that a godly father does not allow his children to be unsupervised at the homes of people he does not know, is very careful to oversee any dating done by his daughters, and goes to great lengths to ensure that safety is pursued in everything from where the family lives to who they are in close friendship with and who is welcomed into their home” (p. 8).
I felt it important to focus on this point, as the rest of the book is to a large degree, an expansion and outworking of this, because if we don’t get this, I don’t know that we get how to be biblical dads. If we’re not doing what we can to provide for the needs of our families, 1 Tim. 5:8 tells us we have denied the faith and become worse than an unbeliever. If we do discipline our children, we do not love them (Prov. 13:24).
I particularly enjoyed about Pastor Dad because it is one of the first books of Driscoll’s that truly feels “pastoral.” It’s not full of smart remarks and quips, but it’s a dad talking to other dads about the challenges of being “dad.” It’s a reminder of the great responsibility we have to be loving fathers to our children—because, as fathers, God shares His name with us.
Thanks for the great Father’s Day gift, Pastor Mark.