It is not uncommon for those of us who are
fathers to be reminded that being a father carries with it great
responsibilities. We hear this from the secular and religious
realm…and from our own families.
It has also occurred to at least some of us
fathers to ponder the question, "What are the areas of my
responsibilities and where do I get the knowledge and strength to
fulfill them? To address this question I share some thoughts that
have come to me.
WE FATHERS NEED TO BE MEN OF FAITH IN GOD
Satan is so subtle; the temptations of the world
are so powerful; our fallen nature is so weak; the burdens of life
are so heavy that we do not have in ourselves the strength to
consistently be the fathers we ought to be. Where shall we find this
We find our answer in the following scripture,
"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the
victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son
1st John 5:4,5.
We must have faith…that God loves us…that Jesus
is God’s Son sent to be the sacrifice for our sin…that Jesus
received the full punishment for our sins on the cross…that He wants
to be our Savior…that when we receive Him by faith as our Savior all
sins are washed away…we are clothed in perfect righteousness and we
receive a spiritual birth into God’s family. From the foundation of
that relationship we can draw from God the knowledge, strength and
all else we need to be the fathers we ought to be.
WE FATHERS NEED TO BE MEN OF COMMITMENT
THAT WE ARE BELIEVERS IN CHRIST
Yes, unsaved people will put the sincerity of our
faith to the test again and again. However, if we remain unshakable
in our testimony for Christ they will respect us even if they feel
uncomfortable in our presence. However, if our lives show that we
profess to be one thing among Christians and something else in the
world they will despise us.
THAT WE ARE JOYFULLY READY TO SHARE OUR FAITH
No, we don’t have to shove anything down
anybody’s throat. Neither do we need to be ashamed of anything that
God has done in any area of our life…spiritual, physical, material
or financial. "…Always ready to give a defense to everyone
who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and
fear;" 1st Peter 3:15.
"Do all things without complaining or disputing;
that you may become blameless and harmless, children
of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse
generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world."
Philippians 2:14, 15.
THAT WE WILL "GROW IN THE GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE OF
OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST"
(From 2nd Peter
Until we are everything God is and know
everything God knows and can do everything God can we should
continue to grow in grace. I am quite sure you are thinking, "We can
never reach that point.". True. And that is the reason
everyone of us needs to keep growing. Sitting under the teaching and
preaching of the word of God will help. However, it is when we
personally study and meditate on God’s word; pray and put God’s word
into practice in our everyday life that our growth is accelerated.
WE FATHERS NEED TO LOVE THE LORD OUR GOD WITH ALL
OUR HEART, SOUL AND MIND
Jesus taught that this was the greatest
commandment of all and that when we have this kind of love it will
motivate us to fulfill our obligations to our God. It needs to be
understood that the Greek word Jesus chose for love is agape. Agape
love is more of a commitment of the mind and will than it is a
feeling of the emotions. It is an unconditional commitment that our
thoughts words, and actions will be in the best interest of the
object of our love.
The more we understand about the greatness and
glory of God; of His great love for us and all that He has done and
is doing for us…the more we will love Him. "We love, because He
first loved us." 1st John 4:19.
WE FATHERS NEED TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS AS
Jesus said this was the second greatest
commandment of all. We are also informed in Romans 13:8-10 that when
we have this kind of love for our neighbors that it will motivate us
to fulfill our obligations to them.
To illustrate what loving our neighbor involves
Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan. A man departed from
Jerusalem to go down to Samaria. He was attacked by robbers who
stripped him and beat him and left him half dead. A priest and a
Levite came along and saw him, but passed by one the other side. A
despised Samaritan came along and had compassion on him. He bandaged
his wounds and poured oil and wine on them. He put him on the mule
he was riding and took him to an inn and paid for his care.
It appears that Jesus was saying that when we are
the closest one to a person in genuine need and possess the ability
and resources to meet that need we will do it if we love them as we
love ourselves. Even though most of us must admit we have failed
many times this should be our goal.
WE FATHERS NEED TO LOVE OUR WIFE
It has often been said that the best way a father
can teach his son to be a good husband is to love his wife. God
apparently agrees. The most extensive teaching in God’s word on
husband/wife relationships is found in Ephesians 5:21-33. Three
times husbands are commanded to love their wives, ". . .as Christ
loved the church and gave Himself for her (verse 25)" "…as
their own bodies" (verse 28) and ". . .even as himself" (verse
33). Once again, the scriptural word for love is agape…an
unconditional commitment that the husband’s thoughts, words, and
actions will be in the best interest of his wife.
The husband will discover that when he is
faithful in agape love it will produce philos love within his wife.
This is that warm, rich emotional affection that can reach heights
of ecstasy. It is the kind of love most of us think of when we hear
the word love. It can also motivate the wife to make her
commitment to practice agape love towards her husband.
FATHERS NEED TO TRAIN OUR CHILDREN IN THE WAY THEY SHOULD GO
(From Proverbs 22:6 and Ephesians 6:4).
We are to teach them God’s truth from the word of
God. (See Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Psalm 78:1-8). We can best teach
them the positive qualities of the Christian life by the example we
set before them. We can teach them…
Faith by trusting God in the great
challenges of life
Integrity by being a man of integrity
Moderation by being a man of self-control
Patience by staying calm in frustrations
Perseverance by overcoming difficult
Kindness by the way you treat others
Forgiveness by quickly forgiving when
asked to do so
Humility by asking forgiveness when we
have wronged others.
Gratitude by consistently expressing
Worth Ethic by knowledge and efficiency
in our tasks
Self Worth by demonstrating that God has
equipped us (and our children) with everything we need to accomplish
whatever God has planned when enabled by His power.
We also need to correct our children regarding
negative attitudes and questions. We teach them that all sin is
falling short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Sin is failure to
be all and do all God intends us to be and do. It is also being and
doing what God did not intend. It also has bad consequences in this
life and in eternity. We correct our children by preventive teaching
and teaching at the first expressions of negative attitudes and
actions. The time most likely will come when we will have to begin
fitting punishments to the size of the offense. When done in love,
it will be productive. When done in anger, it will probably be
We also need to alert our children that not every
person in the world is a person of good will. We need to carefully
warn them that they might be approached by people pretending to be
helpful or offering things that sound like fun, but these people may
have bad and hurtful purposes in mind. In addition, in an age when
illegal drugs, alcohol, pornography and immorality have wide
acceptance we need to point out to our children that joining their
peers in these things can have very bad consequences.
We should also share with our children that God
has made a wonderful provision for all the temptations His children
face in life. "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is
common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be
tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also
make the way of escape also, that you may be able to bear it."
1st Corinthians 10:13
What Shall We Do With The Challenge?
Being a good father is truly one of the greatest
challenges we men are called to face. If we ignore the challenge and
miserably fail we will surely wish we had tried harder. If we try
hard and our children still choose a wayward life, we will at least
know we tried. If we truly look to the Lord to enable us to be the
example, the teacher, and the corrector we need to be then surely
the delight of children in whom we take pride shall be ours.
Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted.
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.