Shared June 13th, 2014
Are you a dad? There is a role that you need to play as a dad. It is more than a role; it is a lifestyle. Do you have children? Young or old? As a dad or father, remember that you first have a responsibility to love your wife. Everyday, whether you live at home with your family (wife and children) or not, your children watch how you treat their mother, your wife (if you are married). They are watching and they are learning from you. As they learn, they are also forming their concept of marriage from no other than you. (Sadly, because of absentee progenitors, children learn from other sources). In other words, you (or that other source) are creating a pattern for them. This pattern in turn becomes a blueprint for marriage with your children.
To be a real dad or the best dad, model your pattern after that of God the Father because human fatherhood is at its best if modeled on the fatherhood of God. The Bible says in Ephesians 3:15 that “every fatherhood in heaven and on earth” is named after God the Father. And in the Bible, we see so many good examples and characteristics of a father. Here are a few:
Provide: I wanted to start with “love” but I prefer provision. 1 Timothy 5:8 says “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” Sounds cold, but it is very true. An infidel is an apostate. That is what you are to your family, your children if you don’t provide for them. How can you be a good father if you do not provide for your children? Even infidels provide for their children how much more you, if you say you are a Christian? Maybe in your case, you have a need to forgive your dad?
Love: Ephesians 5:28 says “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” So, for example, if verbally, mentally or physically you abuse your wife, then chances are your daughter will expect that in her marriage and your son will most probably do the same to his wife (who, by the way is somebody’s daughter). But if you honour your wife, guess what? Most probably your daughter will never be satisfied with a man who dishonours her and your son has a greater chance of honouring his wife. Isn’t that true? Out of love grows gentleness and compassion.
Gentleness and compassion: so then, gentleness and compassion is key, very important. Psalm 103:13 says, “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him”.
Being a father is a high calling, a way to be an image of our loving heavenly Father who loves and cares for us, His children, better than any earthly father can hope to do. I know, you can’t be perfect and just like there are no perfect fathers, so are there no perfect children. So don’t expect them to meet all of your expectations and don’t expect them to fulfill all of your goals for them.
Enjoy: rather, enjoy your children. You see, God has given us children, first as gifts and we are to enjoy them; they or you as a father are not to be a burden. You are not to avoid or ignore them but instead, enjoy them! And how do you do so? Well, in order to enjoy them you’ve got to spend time with them. How do you do so? You have to be with them, do things with them, have fun with them, share your life with them. I’m not making this up. Look at Psalms 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Heritage means they belong to God. They are on loan and one day, God will ask you how you raised your children.
Listen: this is so important, giving your children your undivided attention. And I mean, not with one eye on the TV and the other eye on them. Not with one hand on the remote and the other pretending or attempting to play with them. I mean for those children who are a little older, when they have a problem, are sad, or are worried, they don’t need their cell phone or a video game; they don’t even need their best friend. Instead, guess whom they need: YOU! Yep!
Discipline: but you also have to discipline them; you are neither their equal nor are you their “buddy.” You ought to know when to play and when to discipline. Proverbs 3:12 says, “For the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights”. And Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Protection: in disciplining them, you protect them. Drawing from the Bible, we read: “The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin” Psalm 146:9.
Preparation: prepare your children for the future and when you do, Proverbs 23:24 says “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.”
Teach: teach them God’s Word. Ephesians 6:4 says “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Pray: Psalm 55:17 “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” There are more qualities you can brig to your children. Can you think of any? Like wisdom? Encouragement? More!
Proposed prayer: Dear Father in heaven, You said in Genesis 18:19, For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” Please help me to do this work that You have given me and to do it well, to Your glory, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.