Father’s Day Sermon: Godly Fathers
Kyle Johnson   -  

Maybe this has happened to you. You have ordered a coffee at Starbucks and the person waiting on you behind the counter has been kind and personable and you want to thank him, or maybe it is a her, you cannot really tell by their dress, or haircut, or voice, or ear piercings. You think to yourself, “I can thank ‘them,’ but ‘them’ is impersonal.

Gender neutrality, in appearance, in clothing styles, in just about every category you can think of is changing the way we live and interact. About two years ago, I received a letter from another Lutheran Church. The office assistant signed it, and after her name she wrote, she/her. It was the first time I had ever seen someone designate personal pronouns. It was clear, she was attempting to state that no matter what gender you thought you were, you were welcome there.

Why is there such a push today to move our society toward a gender-neutral environment? Part of it is the deconstruction of traditional values from the past. Historical revisionism has painted traditions and history as evil and holding people back or restraining them in some way, thereby discriminating against them. Part is the belief that moving toward more gender neutrality will be mentally healthy for some people.

Heath Fogg Davis, professor at Temple University, comments about misgendering, “Misgendering is when someone refers to another person with specific gender pronouns that conflict with the pronouns that person uses to identify themselves, often causing embarrassment or discomfort for that person. The reasons why people change their pronouns and names are often incredibly important to those individuals in terms of their mental health, feelings of self-worth and visibility. So, to misgender someone can really take that person out of the situation and prevent their full participation in a class, job, or any social interaction.”

The problem with the emphasis in our society toward more gender “inclusivity” is that it has left others behind, particularly men. What is a real man today? As a man, I can tell you that it is difficult to know how to be. Researching this topic on the internet has introduced me to a new phrase, “toxic masculinity.” Best as I can tell “toxic masculinity” refers to the idea that ‘manliness’ perpetuates domination, homophobia, and aggression.”

In my opinion, that is not true. What is true is that all of this has led to a greater and greater confusion as to what it means to be a man in our world. The question that I need answered is what does God want from me as a man? How would God want me to act and be? Join us this Sunday for Father’s Day, where we will examine 7 Characteristics of a Godly Man and Father.


-Pastor Ken Harste