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The third Sunday in June each year is Father’s Day – a special day to remember and celebrate earthly fathers. The day also affords an opportunity to reflect on the influence a father has in his home and the blessing of a godly father. In the home, a father has an extraordinarily great and lasting impact on his wife and his children, and his influence extends to eternity as well.
It is truly intriguing how often the Bible employs the word father or some form of the word; such words occur 1718 times in the King James Bible. Certainly, many of these occurrences refer to God and His fatherhood, but the point remains clear – whether in relation to the physical family or the spiritual family of God – that the concept of fatherhood is rich with meaning and value.
Consider some fathers of the Bible. There is Noah (father of Shem, Ham, & Japheth), Abraham (father of Isaac), Isaac (father of Jacob), Jacob (father of thirteen children), Amram (father of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam), and many others. A man who is a father has the opportunity to be a tremendous blessing, in terms of character, strength, and godliness to his family.
Standing in opposition to God’s beautiful portrait of fatherhood in the Bible is description of fatherhood in the present society. In many cases, television shows denigrate fathers and insult the institution of fatherhood. Magazines all too often present fathers as uninvolved in the lives of their families and in fact perhaps distant from them. It is easy to think of children who have little and perhaps even no association with their fathers; that is indescribably sad. Sometimes, fathers are portrayed as expendable and unneeded. Society will continue to suffer when children do not have the influence of a strong father and when fathers do not follow their God-given responsibilities.
We wish a Happy Father’s Day to each father of the congregation and wish for you also to know how much you are appreciated. Let us be thankful for our fathers and consider some passages to aid in appreciating a godly man and a godly father.
“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” (Gn. 18:19)
“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons” (Dt. 4:9)
“…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:15)
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4)
“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” (Col. 3:21)
Let us thank God for godly fathers and encourage them in their work of godliness, keeping in mind that God is our heavenly Father. (Gal. 4:4-6)
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns what envy is.
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition, he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with sharing, he learns about generosity.
If a child lives with honesty and fairness, he learns what truth and justice are.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If you live with serenity, your child will live with peace of mind.
With what is your child living?
Dorothy Law Nolte
There are many parents, perhaps nearly all parents, who would “do anything’ for their children. At least that’s what they say — “I would do anything for my children.” Of course, the key to that statement should be the little word “for.” What is done should really be something that is “for” the children, something that benefits them. It should not be a matter of satisfying every little whim of theirs. Many things done “for” them prove detrimental and harmful. Children, because they are children, do not know what is best for themselves.
Perhaps, also, the word “do” should be underscored. What children need from their parents requires precious time and serious effort. It is often easier to give them something they want or that we want them to have or to provide something for them than to do what we ought to do for them. Day nurseries, public schools, even Bible classes cannot function for parents, that is, they cannot do for the children what the parents must do for them.
Certainly “anything” should be limited, modified and tempered. It should be limited by what is legally, morally, and spiritually right. It should be modified by what parents can afford. And it should be tempered by what will develop the children physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.
Surely you would die for your children (like David would have for Absalom, 2 Samuel 18:33), but would you live for them?
Would you provide preventive discipline early on and administer corrective discipline when it is called for? (See Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; Hebrews 12:11.)
Would you diligently teach them right from wrong, and especially would you teach them the word of God personally? (See Ephesians 6:4; compare Deuteronomy 6:6-7.)
Would you set for them the right example in all things? (See 2 Timothy 1:5; Luke 1:5-6.)