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  • Writer's pictureJacob Vanover

Fathers of Genesis: Adam, The Absentee Father

As we examine the lives of the Biblical Fathers and discern what we can learn from their successes and errors, it's important to note that we are not condemning these men for their faults, nor are we foolishly exalting them for their successes. Instead, we realize that we are all sinners and need to learn from each other and be the best Fathers we can be for our children unto the glory of God.

For me, beginning with our first Father, the thing that stands out so incredibly is during the significant moments of recorded Scripture, in those early chapters of Genesis, when the Serpent is deceiving Eve. The first sons, Cain and Able, are making what appears to be their first big sacrifice, and a central figure is missing - Adam!

Where in the world (figuratively and literally) was Adam?

I think one of the great tragedies of our day is that of the Absentee Father.

We can discuss the number of kids living in fatherless homes. We could examine the homes where Dad is part-time. We could expound upon the damaging impacts that absentee fathers have had on society, but here is the reality. You and I don't need numbers to tell us the truth; our kids need us!

Our kids need us daily! They need us to protect them, safeguard their innocence, listen to their problems, show them and explain how to conduct themselves. As they live, warn them of the threats and dangers, and model a godly spouse, an example of a devoted follower of Christ. Our kids need us present and available!

I wonder how different things would have been if Adam had been present!

Would Eve have partaken of the forbidden fruit?

Would Cain have had to be corrected by God for his faulty sacrifice if Adam had been present to advise him of God's expectations?

What if Adam had been present and noted Cain's attitude and overall disdain for Abel? Could he have sat the boys down and helped them resolve their differences?

The list could go variable after variable presented - what if Adam had been present?

Now let's take that thought and consider our own families. What will happen if we are not present?

What toll is it taking on our marriage if we are not present?

If we are not providing the needed support to our spouse, the needed love and affection, the spiritual guidance and teaching?

Where will our marriages be?

What if we are not present for our kids? What if they are left alone for the internet to raise, tik-tok to train, and other influences to disciple?

There is no question; Fathers must be present. They must strive to make themselves available. Our marriage and family must become a priority! We must not pursue success as a father in our strength or wisdom but solely under the guidance of God, who created marriage and formed our children in the womb. The God who loves us beyond thought and word and desires our homes to be an oasis of harmony, health, and unity.

Let us look at Adam and learn critical areas where we must be present:

a.) Be Present Physically - Be where they are and aid them in what they are facing!

b.) Be Present Spiritually - Be aware of their spiritual state and lead them toward Christ.

c.) Be Present Emotionally - Be a source of love, encouragement, and joy. You will need to win their hearts if you hope to guide their future.

d.) Be Present Mentally - Be a listener, counselor, boundary setter, and aware of what's happening in their lives. Be engaged with them and their friends.

It is critical to be present to succeed at the wondrous calling God has blessed you with as Husband and Father.

1.) Be present and safeguard our homes:

Both situations, Eve & the Serpent and Cain and Abel, demonstrate that the home needs to be safeguarded.

God said this in no uncertain words to Adam in Genesis chapter two, KEEP (Protect / Safeguard) the Garden.

One would think that statement unnecessary in a world without sin, but that is the misconception; sin was lurking in the shadows of the individual, Satan.

As Husbands and fathers, we are called to be the guardians, protectors, and keepers of those most precious to us. To do so, we must be involved in the lives of our spouses and children. We cannot slack concerning them.

While the temptation to do something else, to pursue hobbies and careers, is alluring, at what cost will it come? Many marriages are lost because the husband had more worthy pursuits than his wife's heart. Children have been lost to the temptations and currents of unchecked lust because Dad wasn't there to see their struggle and intervene before their decline.

No, my friend, we must be men and leave the play and dead-end pursuits to boys.

We safeguard our homes by:

a.) Be Present For Your Wife:

Eve shouldn't have been facing that Serpent alone. Where was Adam? He was absent. And the first victim of his absence was his wife.

One of the chiefest things you can do to safeguard your home is to safeguard your marriage. Be faithful to your spouse. Set boundaries to protect yourself and your spouse from sin.

Be the husband that models before all the love, gentleness, support, and encouragement that makes a healthy marriage.

Love your wife as Christ commands in Ephesians chapter five: Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it.

We are to examine the great love of Christ and let His example be our model for loving our wives.

Our wives need us to be present!

They need to know we will physically support them, supplying the family needs and the everyday functionality of life. We are laboring together for our family!

They need to know that we will be present spiritually to guide the family and discern the leading of God. The more you model Christ and exemplify Christ, the easier it will be for your wife to trust you, follow you, and champion you before your children.

They need to know we will be present emotionally. Men, you must demonstrate genuine love and affection toward your spouse. You must listen with care, counsel with gentleness, and love regardless. When your wife discovers that you are emotionally present, she will open up to you and strive to strengthen the bond of your marriage.

They need to know we are mentally present. Awareness is missing among men. They are a body in the house, but they are mentally elsewhere! Turn off the tv, set aside the hobby, put the buddy on hold, and be mentally involved in your marriage. Our wives must know we are serious about the welfare of the family and the future we are building. Our wives need to know we are mentally involved and thinking, considering, and planning for the betterment of our family.

b.) Be Present As The Spiritual Leader:

God has called us to be the spiritual leaders of our home. The spiritual state of our wives and children rests upon us. God places the responsibility on the shoulders of a man to lead, not just in the physical realm, but the spiritual.

As Christian men, God calls us to shepherd our family toward Christ. They are to look to you as their spiritual guide and counsel.

Being present spiritually means that you have a divine presence in the home. Therefore, your character matches that depicted in Scripture.

What grieves me about Genesis chapter four and Cain isn't just that Adam wasn't present, but that there isn't anyone concerned about Cain's spiritual state but God.

Had Adam been present and led his family as God intended, he would have noticed that Cain was not where he needed to be with God. Instead, when it came time to sacrifice, Cain did his own thing and disregarded God's command. Had Adam been concerned about Cain, had Adam been aware of Cain's spiritual state, he never would have let Cain offer an offensive offering to God!

The reality is plain, Adam was present physically, nor was he present spiritually. We affirm this at the end of Genesis chapter four after the son of Seth is born; the Scripture states, then men began to call upon the name of the Lord.

Dad, you can't afford to be absent spiritually!

Show up, and take inventory of your wife's and children's spiritual state.

We show up spiritually by leading our families in prayer.

We show up spiritually by starting and maintaining family devotions.

We show up spiritually by leading our family to Church for worship & discipleship.

We show up in sharing the truth in love with them that they know Christ personally and intimately!


c.) Be Present as Father:

It amazes me that, of all the titles He could have chosen, God chose the title Father to use in which we are to know Him and address Him. I believe this is God's favorite role. I believe God is love and that He deeply, graciously, and intimately loves His children!

Sir, the calling of Father is not a burden, nor is it a thankless duty. To be blessed by God to share in His great joy, partner with God in His happiest of pursuits, and be trusted by God to raise His priceless treasure, oh my friend, to be Father is the greatest blessing of all time!

I was forty before God bestowed the privilege upon me. But now that I have tasted the joy of fatherhood, I crave it above all experiences. I love it above all pursuits. I revere it more than anything in my life other than God Himself.

To succeed as Fathers, we must strive to be present in our children's lives. Read Genesis chapters two through four carefully and consider the variable if Adam had been present.

We must be present physically for our kids. Show up with them and for them, whether at Church, the game, school events, or just being faithful to come home and love on them. Be present.

Think about it, Adam wasn't even in the shadows!

Had he been, he could have rushed out and encountered the Serpent to protect Eve! He could have stepped from the shadows and stopped Cain before approaching that altar or slaying his brother.

We must be present physically. And note your kids may not always remember you were there; they will never forget the times you weren't.

Be present spiritually. Your kids need a spiritual guide. Being the spiritual leader is God's design. God intends for you to walk with Him, learn His Word, His Spirit leading, and direct your children. In Genesis chapter eighteen, God states that in verse nineteen, Abraham will command his household to keep the commands of the Lord. That is the job of the Father!

I've talked about an overview of being present spiritually. Still, please also note that you will need to be present individually, as a priest, leading each person in your household privately and in the areas, they need you most.

Remember, being religious and being spiritual is not the same. Being spiritual is not just about our kids keeping commands but about giving Christ their heart and following Him out of a place of love. They will model what they see in you. (Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

Be present emotionally. Be affectionate. Be encouraging. Be kind and gentle. Shed tears. Let them see the depth of your love for them.

Someone will be if you are not present emotionally to win their hearts. And most likely, it will not be someone they can trust but someone who will use them and ruin them. So step up, tear down any walls of emotion, and give your heart to God and your family.

Finally, be present mentally. Be keenly aware of all that's going on. Remember the stories they tell you. Know their friends, keep their schedules close, and be the single expert on your children. Note any changes in behavior or language, and know if they begin to withdraw. You must be fully present with your kids if you want to be the Father they need you to be, and the Father God has called you to be.

Being a godly father and husband is hard work and a high calling, but this is also the greatest blessing of our lives.

Learn from this first father of Genesis, Adam, and don't be an Absentee Father.

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