Created for Covering: Responsibility

Created for Covering: Responsibility


Robert Shaw, D.Min.



Excerpted with permission from Created for Covering: Understanding the Concept of Safety and Covering in Relationships for Men and Women.



As Adam’s covering, God was responsible to instruct him in the way he was to go, and then provide him with what was needed to get there.  The Scriptures show that God called man to take dominion.  Then he showed man the provisions to sustain his efforts (Gen. 1:28-29).  God also brought all the animals and birds to man, and gave him the responsibility to name everyone of them (Gen. 2:19).  Possessing the power to name something or someone denotes responsibility of, or guardianship over, those being named.  For example, besides all the animals, Adam also named Eve (Gen. 3:20).  Often, God chose to change the names of several people in the Bible, all to denote a changed purpose for their lives and a renewed responsibility.  One example would be, Jacob (supplanter) to Israel (prince with God), (Gen. 32:24-32).

In like manner, a man is held responsible to train those he is guardian over, mainly his family.  One of the most common mistakes men and women make today is that they want to be their child’s friend, not their parents.  Because of the fear of rejection, men would rather not confront or discipline their child.  Often, they may even pass the role of being “the heavy” onto their wife.  The father may have to make difficult stands with their child, but in the end, that will have a higher return.  A child can always find friends, but he or she will only have one father.

We train by example (Psa. 101:2-4), by direct instruction (Deut. 4:9-10), and by loving discipline (Prov. 13:24).  Among the things children learn from their parents, their dad’s in particular, are: (1) attitudes and values, (2) how to respond or react to challenges in life, (3) how to respond to various life situations, (4) how to respond in the marketplace (business ethics), and (5) how parents respond to each other.  How we treat our wives is especially poignant, because we model how to be “coverings” and how to respect women.  Values are caught before they are taught.

Men, we are the primary models to our children, and as such, we carry an awesome amount of power and influence.  Do you ever allow your children to see you when you experience a failure or a sorrow?  Have they ever seen you cry?  Then, can you say that they have seen you recover in ways that show integrity and honor to God?  We live a lie in our society that says failure and sorrow are automatic signs of weakness.  We all have experienced failures and sorrows, but what we have not learned very well is how to recover from these disappointments.  True strength is strength of spirit and character and our kids, our families, the marketplace, our society and our world are all looking for individuals who possess such qualities.  However, this can only come from the strength and power that our Covering – God Himself, provides for us and in us, as we walk in relationship with Him.

father-551921_640We are also responsible for providing for those in our care.  Provision for one’s family includes more than food, clothing and housing.  We are to provide in all areas of life including spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual, vocational and moral areas (Iverson, 1979).   Providing for our families is essentially bringing safety to our families.  This can be difficult to see as our country has become a nation where many fathers are absent.  The United States, for example, leads the world in fatherless families (Burns & Scott, 1994).  There are approximately 24 million children, or 34% of all kids in the U.S., living in fatherless homes (Horn & Sylvester, 2002).  The number of children being raised by single mothers has more than tripled between 1960 and 2000 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001).   These are families without a God-designed covering, and we have seen, as a nation, an increase in crime, school drop out rates, substance abuse and addictions, just to name a few.  I believe there is a correlation.  When Satan has been successful in “taking out” the covering, through whatever means, the family becomes vulnerable and susceptible to many evils.  When the coverer comes out from under his covering, and abuses his authority, the family also is adversely affected. More about this will be discussed in chapter six.

As adults, our model through our relationships speaks much louder than words, especially as it relates to the treatment of others, principles that we live by, the respect for authority positions, and general values.  For example, if we as men are not honoring those in authority over us (including God), then we will surely see our wives and children dishonor us as well.



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shaw_robertDr. Robert B. Shaw, Jr. is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor in both Virginia and North Carolina. He works at the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) in Forest, VA in professional development and as membership divisions director. Dr. Shaw is an adjunct professor at Liberty University and a Clinical Trainer for graduate counseling intensives. He is also an ordained minister, serving as an elder and executive pastor in churches for over 25 years. He has also been a middle school and high school teacher and athletic coach in both the public and private school environments. Dr. Shaw spent several years counseling military personnel and their families near FT. Bragg, NC and specializes in abuse and trauma related issues, addictions, depression, anxiety disorders, life adjustment issues, loss and grief, counseling church leaders and pastors, and adolescents and adults. Dr. Shaw has a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from Wagner College, New York where he attended on an athletic scholarship in track & field; a Master of Divinity Degree from Christian International Theological School, Florida; a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Liberty University, Virginia; and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Formational Counseling, from Ashland Theological Seminary, Ohio. Dr. Shaw is a National Board Certified Counselor (NBCC), and a Board Certified Professional and Pastoral Counselor (BCPPC). Dr. Shaw and his wife, Lorinda, a registered nurse, have been married since 1978, and have five children together and six grandchildren. He enjoys running, the beach, sports, music, traveling to historical sites, and spending time with family.