Nothing in our lives can be more rewarding and more terrifying than being a parent. Psalm 107:13 speaks of the comparable compassion a physical father has and the compassion our spiritual Father has. Hebrews additionally draws a comparison between earthly fathers and God. The relationship fathers have with their children is to mirror and will affect the relationship their children will develop with their heavenly Father.
Today’s society places little value on the father and healthy fatherhood, and many men do not take their roles as fathers seriously. The majority of men in prison are individuals who are, by all intents, fatherless. Lack of male authority can lead to chaos. However, to be a successful father, one must be the father God intends him to be.
Fathers As They Should Be
Fathers are Spiritual Leaders. In I Timothy 3:4 speaks of spiritual leaders that rule their houses well. Ephesians 6:4 warns against provocation and instructs to raise children in God’s word. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 again emphasizes the role of God’s word in bringing up children, and Proverbs 4:1-4 speaks to the experience and wisdom a father can pass on to his children. If I am to be a godly father, then I am a spiritual leader.
Fathers Establish Proper Priorities. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus clearly says seeking God comes before all else. With the establishment of authorities, the father must teach and uphold those priorities, avoiding inconsistencies.
Fathers Demonstrate Discernment. I Thessalonians 5:21-22 are very short verses that challenge us all to test all things. Fathers must be able to do this for children and teach them discernment. This applies to the entertainment chosen, clothes worn, websites visited, as well as friends chosen.
Fathers Study God’s Word. II Timothy 2:15 instructs to be diligent in learning God’s word. What do children see in their father’s relationship with God’s word? Do they see someone who respects and seeks to understand? Do they see someone who only knows where his Bible is on Sunday? If we want children who are students of God’s word, fathers should first be that student.
Fathers Are Prayerful. In Luke 11:1, Jesus is approached by His disciples, asking Him to teach them prayer. Why did they do this? First, they saw Him pray and wished to emulate what they observed. If a father speaks to his Father as he should, his children will see this and also wish to talk to God as they should.
A good father will demonstrate love and model love for his children when he is the man God wants him to be. Fathers, we know what is best for our children, and we can look for guidance in God’s word. Rejecting our responsibilities as parents fails our children and fails our God. We can raise godly children, but, in doing so, we must be parents who are ourselves godly and spiritual.
lesson by Tim Smelser