As father’s day approaches, I’m reminded of the fact that we don’t honor fathers enough in this day and age. In many senses, fathers have been relegated to nothing more than ATM’s or sperm-donors when their importance can’t be stressed enough. Though circumstances often preclude the presence of a father, we need to understand how vital fathers are to raising well-adjusted, happy and successful children. I thank God for the influence and faithfulness of my own father and I greatly honor and respect my husband in his role as a father.
Recently, the church has been marked by an unfortunate event between a father and daughter which has been causing very strong reactions on both sides. Accusations have been laid against Creflo Dollar, who is a very high profile public figure in the church. This has become a case of father vs daughter that I hope can be resolved privately before it has to go before a court of law. Even though the media has reported many explosive charges, we still need to wait for the truth to emerge. So before we add to further conjecture and gossip, we need to judge everything against what God’s word says about fathers and their children. We may think we know a person and the circumstances surrounding a particular event, but for a christian, truth can only be viewed through the lens of the Bible.
Verses about fathering –
- Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
- Hebrews 12:11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
- Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.
- Hebrews 12:5-6 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.
These verses (and many others) clearly indicate that disciplining our children is not only for their own good, but also a matter of life and death. Sometimes we get stuck on this side of fathering, but it’s not only the aspect of good fathering.
- Proverbs 10:17 Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.
- Proverbs 15:5 A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
- Proverbs 13:1 A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
There is also an important element of learning and gaining instruction for life from a father. A university education won’t do much to develop character or work ethic. Those lessons are to be passed on through the years by fathers and are to prepare children for the “real world” away from their parent’s home. Discipline and instruction when administered lovingly by a father are two of the most vital things any child can get. Parenting isn’t a popularity contest. Chances are, your kids won’t like the rules or decisions you set out for them but if they’re under your roof and eating your food, do they really have a choice? We all remember what happened to the prodigal when he had enough of living in his father’s house.
Fathering isn’t always easy but it is full of rewards. God promises it. Psalm 127:3 says Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Every gift from God is “good and perfect” (James 1:17). How long has it been since you described your children as “good and perfect”. Even in the hard and confusing times of parenting, you can rest assured that God will honor your efforts to be a good father. Below is a song I wrote for godly fathers when I truly understood the magnitude of everything they instill in the lives of their children.
Verse 1 –
In a world of confusion where what is wrong seems right
Amidst the illusion, where darkness is light
Where can I go when the way isn’t clear?
As long as you guide me, I will never walk in fear.
Verse 2 –
Your goodness to me, goes to great lengths
You gave me your heart, soul and your strength
I follow your lead as you follow Christ
For a father who trusts in the Lord is wise.
You gave me your name, I know who I am
You provide for me by the work of your hands
When I’m afraid, I find strength in your arms
You gave me a home, I know where I belong.
Father, I thank you for giving to me
My life, my home, my identity
And I want to thank you for helping me see
All that God created me to be.