A Father and His Firstborn
by Tara Chapman
I’m a firstborn child of two girls. I was always close to my dad. My sister was closer to my mother. It remains so to this day. All children tend to really like their dads, though, if their dads are good dads--not abusive, neglectful, or unloving. Sure, children love and like their mothers, too, but in a normal setting where a mother is home rearing her children, the children look forward each day to the arrival home of their daddies from work. They seek hugs from strong protective arms and active play with their fathers.
My firstborn son loves me very much. I have no doubt of this. But, I realize that his father has a very important role. He, the older of two young boys, asks daily when his daddy is going to come home. When my husband is about to leave, my son begs to go with him. He wants to help his daddy with everything. He says, “I want to be just like Daddy.”
A father has a very crucial role to play in the upbringing of his children. Statistics by the CDC for the year 2005 revealed that in the United States, over 1 out of 3 (37% to be exact) of babies were born to unwed mothers. Among African Americans, the number was a startling 70 percent and almost half of Hispanic babies were born out of wedlock (48 %).
This is ridiculous!
The American Coalition for Fathers and Children stated that, “father absence” is the “greatest social problem we face” and that it is “the key to reversing the trends of many downstream problems,” if our society supported marriage and the responsibility that comes with it. The following are just a small sampling of the problems to which father-absence greatly contributes:
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless home
90% of all homeless and runaway chlildren are from fatherless homes
85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders are from fatherless homes
80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger are from fatherless homes
71% of all high school dropouts are from fatherless homes
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers are from fatherless homes
70% of juveniles in state-operate institutions are from fatherless homes
85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in fatherless homes
This is just for father absence. What portion of the remaining percentages are made up of people who had father presence, where the fathers were abusive--physically, verbally, and/or sexually--or maybe some of the present fathers weren’t necessarily abusive but maybe didn’t spend quality time with their children, or maybe they set a bad example?
Normally, firstborn children have two main role models during the first few years of their lives--mother and father. Normally, a mother will carry her child in her womb for around nine months, and then once the child is born, she will continue to nourish and nurture by nursing and holding the baby and meeting all his or her needs. During the very first few years, the mother typically plays the more important direct role as a parent. A child’s life depends on the mother’s nourishment and loving care.
But, what happens when there is no father to provide for the mother and child? Widows and orphans are the most vulnerable in society, and that is why God has laws for people to help them. In today’s terminology, these women and children are commonly called “single mothers and children,” except the vast majority of single mothers today are not widows!
I’m deeply sorrowful, as well as horrified, at the current conditions of the once great United States of America. We are sure to fall very soon. Our society is plagued with physical and spiritual fornication. True biblical worship of God is mixed with gross spiritual fornication--the mixing of heathen doctrines with biblical doctrines. Physically, this society (and that of other nations) is so grossly oversexed, that it should be no surprise to the sinful masses that the majority of young adults and teens are plagued with various STDs.
Men use women for sex, and women let themselves be used in the name of women’s liberation/women’s “rights.” Sounds like an oxymoron to me. What’s so great about STDs, abortions, births outside of marriage, and single motherhood? I look around, and so many things are an absolute abomination in my sight. How must my Heavenly Father feel?
Men are using women for sex and then failing to take care of the woman and their offspring that results from the sex. Women, too, are being irresponsible by whoring around. There are even some women who deliberately have multiple children in order to collect more government welfare money. They have several children sired by multiple fathers, and then they do a lousy job of caring for their children. Oftentimes, they’re too busy going to bed with another man and/or abusing drugs to take proper care of their children. Is it any wonder we have the problems that we have in the U.S. and other Israelite nations? The fathers aren’t around, don’t care, or in many cases don’t even realize they have any children! And the mothers are spending all their time either working hard to support her children (the better mothers) or are sleeping around with more men. So, when fathers are absent, it usually equates to limited mother presence as well.
The firstborn child plays a very unique part. Traditionally, a firstborn son usually received a double-portion of his father’s inheritance. For example, if a man had four sons, the father would add an invisible son to make five, and then the inheritance would be split five ways. The firstborn would get two of the five shares. The other three sons would each get one share. Sometimes, a subsequent son would instead receive the birthright (the double portion of the inheritance). That reason may have been due to folly wrought by the firstborn, as in Reuben’s case, recorded in the bible. He went to bed with one of his father’s (Jacob/Israel) concubines, so he lost his birthright. A very rare and strange event also occurred in the bible concerning birthright, in which the firstborn gave away his birthright. Esau gave his birthright (the extra portion of the inheritance) to Jacob in exchange for a bowl of stew, for he was famished. In other words, Esau would have received two thirds of Isaac’s inheritance, but he “despised his birthright” and so would have only received one third of his father’s inheritance, after he gave his birthright to Jacob.
Some fathers have given all their inheritance to their firstborn children, but I think loving fathers give a portion to each son. Righteous Job gave all of his children an inheritance--both sons and daughters.
Firstborn children also set an example for their younger siblings. If the firstborn child has no father or father figure, or if the child has a foolish and/or wicked father, the firstborn is likely not to be a good example. But, if a father is loving and righteous and teaches his firstborn to be so, and if the firstborn obeys his father, then that firstborn is the perfect example for younger siblings to follow in order to also please their father and become a decent citizen--a good example for the entire community or society. A good neighbor, you could say, in other words.
Does this sound familiar? Where have we heard something like this before? Where have we heard about a perfect loving and righteous father and a firstborn son that obeys his father perfectly and is a role model citizen and perfect neighbor--the perfect example to everyone as to the way to live? There is a perfect righteous Father in Heaven. And He has the perfect firstborn Son with Him who lived out a life like the rest of us to be our perfect example.
Matthew 22:37, 39 Thou shalt love the ETERNAL thy God with all thy heart, and will all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
John 8:29, 42, 49, 54-55 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him...Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me...Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me...Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his word (reference note).
The perfect Heavenly Father is the father to all of us true Spirit-begotten Christians, and his Son who came to this earth as the Messiah and died, then rose again as the firstborn from the dead, is our brother.
Hebrews 2:11 Jesus, who makes people holy, and all those who are made holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus isn't ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. (God’s Word Translation)
Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren (NASB).
There is only ONE perfect Father--the Heavenly Father, God. There is only ONE perfect firstborn Son--the one who became Jesus Christ/Messiah Yahushua.
Christian, do you love your Heavenly Father above ALL? Do you strive to prove this to your Father by earnestly trying to live the way His firstborn lived as He walked on this earth 2,000 years ago clothed in flesh? None of us will EVER be as perfect as our Father’s firstborn, as long as we have flesh and blood. But, do you strive to be as pleasing as Father’s firstborn? Do you plead for mercy and thank your Father for His grace and forgiveness, because you cannot perfectly live as the firstborn did?
Our Father said of His firstborn, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22). Oh, how we would love to hear this from our Father! We want our Father to say that He is well pleased with us, do we not? We already know our Father is pleased with His firstborn, our elder brother. We truly need to look up to our big brother, as little children naturally look up to their eldest sibling. We know we have THE perfect Father, and we know His firstborn--our elder brother--is perfect and is well-pleasing to and beloved of our Father. It makes perfect sense, then, that we should be striving to do exactly as our Father’s firstborn Son did.
I John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
When people brought the young children to Jesus to bless them, what did He say to his disciples?
“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)
Those little children symbolize the children of God--those that make up the Church. Matthew and Mark both use the Hebrew word paidion, meaning a “young child,” when the scriptures say that they brought “young children” to him. Luke’s account says “infants,” and the Hebrew word that is used is brephos, meaning “unborn or newborn child, infant.” All infants are young children, but not all young children are infants. It seems as if the children that Jesus blessed were infants, or at least most of them were. Either way, we’re discussing very young children.
Young children are the most trusting of and dependent upon their parents and look up to their elder sibling(s) the most. They are also the most impressionable at this time. As far as infants are concerned, they don’t even know right from wrong. A newborn doesn’t even sin.
Are you trusting of your Heavenly Father? Are you dependent upon Him? Do you look up to His firstborn Son, your older brother? Do you let your Father and His firstborn impress upon you the right way of life?
Paul said those of us begotten with God’s Spirit should serve the law in “newness of spirit.” We should WANT to trust and obey. This should naturally be the desire of our heart, if we have a spiritual heart. (I recommend my article on this website “God Does Know Our Hearts.”) Our spiritual hearts should yearn for the day God’s Kingdom is established on this earth. Our hearts should yearn for love and peace to cover the entire planet. Our hearts should yearn to meet our brother in the air and to reign with him. And, our hearts should look forward to the day when we will SEE our Father’s face.
Our Heavenly Father also has an inheritance for those of us who are begotten with his Spirit and are serving him. The inheritance He will give beats any inheritance any earthly father could ever give. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2). Our Father has appointed his firstborn--our elder brother--HEIR of all things. We have a very loving Father, though, and we are to be joint-heirs with his firstborn. We ALL will have an inheritance.
Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Revelation 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
(To read more about what we inherit, please locate the article on this website entitled “Heirs of the Kingdom.”)
Many earthly fathers today are failing their children miserably. I am thankful that I had a good dad. A vast number of children growing up now cannot say the same thing. Most firstborn children today are also terrible role models for their younger siblings. More than anything now, the firstborn children are examples of what decent citizens should not do. There is one Father and one firstborn Son who will NEVER fail us. Let’s love and trust our Heavenly Father and copy the firstborn Son’s example so that we, too, can be beloved and well-pleasing to our Father.