In Nehemiah 2:18 it says, “So they strengthened their hands for this good work.” There are few good works equal to the good work of fatherhood. Fatherhood is the work of God himself as He is our Father. A man who will face the task of filling the role of father is a brave man. Many men run away from the role of fatherhood and would rather hide behind the screen of alimony then to deal with the daily stresses of raising their little ones. There are men who wish to play no role in the lives of their children, to these men I would say, SHAME! You had no reserve about bringing them into this world, therefore show no reserve about bringing them through it! There are men who are afraid that to fill the role of father, because it would mean that they would have to give up their lifestyle, the late night parties, the drinking, and the fornication to stay home and take care of their family. They are afraid that they would have to put their XBox or Playstation away in order to go get a job to pay for their families, therefore they run and hide from reality in a fantasy of boyhood pleasures. I applaud the man who, as Paul said in I Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child I spake as a child...but when I became a man I put away childish things.” I cheer on the man who is willing to do the good work of fatherhood. It is to these fathers that I speak this morning, Fathers, strengthen your hands!
I am speaking to the father who works a long day and comes home at night, tired, yet spends time with his kids. I am talking to the father who will keep a budget and update his ledgers so that he can feed his family and put clothes in their closet. I impress upon the fathers who struggle and fight and when they lay on their beds at night they wonder if it is worth it or not! Daddy it is worth it! Keep fighting for your kids! Father’s strengthen your hands!
It is to the father of a young toddler that I am talking to today. You have sacrificed your own pleasures to buy diapers and formula. It is to the father of the grade schooler that I am talking to today. You gave up your spare money so your children could have the school supplies they needed. It is to the father of the teenager that I am talking to today. You deal with the lip and the attitude and grief, the sighs, the role of the eyes, the cock of the head, the looks of shock and disbelief, and then you turn around buy them all they need. I applaud you father, I praise you sir, you are sticking with the job God has given you to take. You are filling the role God intended for you to fill. Don’t give, Father, strengthen your hands.
There are several things I see in this passage of Nehemiah that will help us strengthen our hands as fathers and do the good work of fatherhood.
“Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God; such alone will shake the gates of hell.” -John Wesley