Restoring the Family to the Creator’s Design

In the beginning, the Creator designed the perfect plan for the establishment, nurturance, maintenance, and perpetuation of the human race.  The family.  Fathers and mothers raising children together in the same home, and in the worship and discipline of the Lord.  Loving parents providing everything their children need to grow up holistically healthy, safe, educated, skilled, and prepared to eventually raise their own families.  It is a simple plan, really.  Father and mother become parenting partners for life.  Each child completes their education, begins a career, falls in love, gets married, and has children.  Repeat generation after generation. 

Fast forward.  What do we see today?  Unwed birth rates as high as 70%.  The father absence crisis.  Divorce.  Single parent households.  The resulting poverty, child abuse and neglect, academic failure, youth crime, behavioral, emotional and psychological problems, drug abuse.  The list goes on. 

What happened?  The divine order was rejected.  God’s original vision for the family, which was intended by Him for the healthy development of civilization, is viewed by many as antiquated.  The need for a live-in dad has been questioned.  The concept of a God-ordained male family head has been denounced as gender biased.  Men and women have been freed to practice sex outside of marriage. Becoming pregnant out of wedlock has lost its former stigma.  Hence, we are experiencing the breakdown of the family, and the failure of family formation. We are on a path toward the very collapse of society.  Is it too late to turn things around?  Perhaps.  However, as Christians, we have been given a charge to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. 

Jesus proclaimed: 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:13-16

As salt preserves meat, our responsibility is to do everything we can to keep the rotting world alive until Jesus comes again.  As darkness tries to overwhelm mankind, our job is to shine as lights to show people the Father’s love and His righteous ways.  One way we can be salt and light is by the good work of restoring the family to God’s original design, and by giving the Father the glory for all that results.  The logical place to start is in the Church.  I don’t think I’ve ever met a pastor that didn’t acknowledge there needs to be a fatherhood strengthening ministry in his church.  Because we are at crisis stage, I believe we must go beyond fatherhood classes. 

There is needed a multigenerational Christian male development and enrichment initiative.  Young men, grown men and senior men simultaneously learning, teaching, and rediscovering God’s plan.  Each with a Timothy to mentor, and each with a Paul to emulate.  It’s like the threefold cord spoken of by King Solomon (Eccl 4:9-12).  Two strands are good, but a triple-braided cord is stronger.  We need each other… sons, dads, and grandfathers… working together to restore the power of godly maleness for the sake of strengthening families.  By starting with the Church, we are positioned to raise up an army of mature, responsible, scripture informed, Spirit-filled men.  Together, we can serve as witnesses to a world that has lost the vision of the Creator’s design for humanity.      

Urban Light Ministries has begun an innovative initiative to accomplish the above, using my book Father Love – The Powerful Resource Every Child Needs and the companion study guide.  After a conversation with my friend Pastor Sam Bryant in the fall of 2018, Sam and the church leadership agreed to serve as the site for a pilot of a scripture-based enrichment class for their males.  Beginning January 6, 2019, each Sunday for thirteen weeks, the teens, college students and men meet during the Sunday School hour at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Springfield.  With the aid of video clips and a Power Point presentation, I facilitate an hour-long conversation around fatherhood, manhood and spiritual leadership in the home.  Each participant has purchased a book and study guide.  Each week they are given a reading and action steps.  The following week, a discussion is facilitated on the assigned topic.  Attendance has been averaging two dozen.  Active participation is growing each week as the guys become more comfortable.  

Father Love Dad’s Discussion Group Topics Include:

  –  Father Love Defined

  –  Love Is Patient And Kind

  –  Love Is Not Easily Angered

  –  Father Love Is Nurturing

  –  Love Bears All Things

  –  Love Endures All Things And Never Fails

  –  The Creator’s Father Love

Urban Light Ministries has also developed the POPS 101 Online Program.  POPS 101 is a four-session introduction to healthy fathering.  The content is appropriate for use in non-religious settings such as schools, jails, and drug rehab centers.  If you would like to know more about Father Love or POPS 101 please contact me at the address below.

Eli Williams, President

Urban Light Ministries
PO Box 3132
Springfield, OH 45501

Email: EWILLIAMS@URBANLIGHT.ORG

The Impact God Had On Me as a Father

A father’s heart is built on the foundation of a relationship with the Heavenly Father which makes for a strong family. This video reveals three father’s stories on what the Heavenly Father has meant in their lives and roles as a father to their families.

Mikes Story:

When I was age 10 my dad received Jesus into his heart. It was like a light switch went on in our home. The fighting that was happening daily ceased. My father was reading the Bible. He seemed to take more time with us as kids and got more involved in our lives. We began to go to church and over time that just began to bring about a huge change in our home and in our lives.

Curtis Story:

If I didn’t have a relationship with God then none of this is possible. It’s like you’re giving God the control and not the control of your life but the belief that he’s gonna lead you in the direction you need to go. It’s just so powerful that I’m getting goosebumps talking about it. Being in his will is the best thing that ever had to happen to me. I’m a living example of what God can do for you and that’s more powerful than anything I can say.

Phil’s Story:

One of the biggest things is the fact that I could forgive my own father now. My father left and he scarred me. But now that I have that relationship with God and I know that I’ve been forgiven for all the mistakes I made in the past. The Lord knows I wasn’t perfect. I’ve been able to forgive my own father. My hope now is that I will see him in heaven. I think that he found that same forgiveness and love through Jesus Christ that I did so that I will get to meet him again in heaven. When it comes to my son, Jacob it’s important for me to be that witness to show him. He has seen the change in me, big time actually. I’m proud of that. He’s been able to see that walked I have now. That I’ve changed and that I’m the type of person I want him to be. I just have to continue to be a witness for Jesus Christ and be that example of Jesus Christ to him.

God is Good – A Recap of 2020

On behalf of everyone at Urban Light Ministries, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a joyful New Year.  As each of us has felt in our own personal way, this year has made an impact on how we now view the world.  I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for your generous prayers and donations over the last 12 months.  As the Board Chair of Urban Light Ministries, I wanted to share with you the many things this organization, and more specifically, Eli Williams has done for the community.

Over the last 12 months as we battled the day-to-day issues of COVID-19, racism, and family strife we felt it necessary to do our part in helping build stronger bonds in the family and in the community.  And, I am proud to say that with the leadership of Eli Williams much was accomplished.  Some examples of the work this year include:

  • The release of the POPS 101 online classes to reach fathers who needed to improve their skills – this program is now offered in both English and Spanish
  • The development and implementation of a Video Series for families entitled “Fathering During a Pandemic.” With families being quarantined at home we felt it was important to provide Godly skills in fathering and family unity.  The seven series included:
    1. Why Dads Matter
    2. Being Successful Socially Starts in the Home
    3. Creating Order in the Midst of Chaos
    4. Father as a protector
    5. Father as an Order Keeper and Provider
    6. Raising Teenagers
    7. Father as the Stabilizer
  • We continued to recognize outstanding fathers in the community. More fathers then ever in the past received the Fatherhood Community Award. Twenty-seven outstanding dads were recognized for their leadership within their families and community.
  • Fatherhood Devotional was created and printed and provided to each of the fathers who were awarded the Fatherhood Community Award. The devotional was also made available to any family that is interested, free of charge.
  • Eli’s personal leadership and conviction continued through working with local churches towards building Biblically healthy multiethnic relationships through his work with Celebrate Simunye and cohosting the 4 part video series on “Defining This Moment.”
  • With the dramatic increase in the homeless population due to the pandemic, Eli saw the need to mobilize the faith-based community to address this problem and is leading a taskforce and working with the Interfaith Hospitality Network.

For all of Eli William’s work and dedication in the community, he was awarded the 2020 Nehemiah Foundation Leadership Award.

As you can see your prayers and donations are making an impact.  As the year ends please continue to pray for Urban Light Ministries, Eli Williams, the struggles that many families are now going through and those seeking shelter for the night. 

As like many nonprofits this year we were not able to host an annual fundraiser and therefore have raised only 58% compared to what was collected last year.  Please consider a year-end gift so the work of Urban Light Ministries and Eli Williams can continue touching those in the Springfield community. 

With sincere gratitude,


Bruce Stapleton