3 biblical truths to remember this Father's Day
By Kyle Patterson
A father’s role can never be over emphasized. The importance of a father in the life of a child can forever altar for the good or the bad, the rest of a child's life. God himself asks his children to call him Father, a concept that was completely revolutionary at the time of Jesus. It is from him that every family derives its name. In Romans we are instructed that by the Spirit we cry out to God as our Abba Father, a hebrew word of most intimate endearment. He is the great Father and he commands fathers everywhere who bear his name to walk out the calling to raise up the next generation, teach and instruct children, and prepare the way for the Lord by loving our families well.
Turning the hearts of the father’s to the children.
This prophetic promise through Malachi will happen before the coming of the Lord. There is a promised blessing when the father’s hearts are turned to the children and likewise the children to the fathers. Malachi teaches us that the prophet Elijah will come before the day of the Lord and, He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” How we father our children, is supposed to be a picture of God’s own relationship with us. A relationship filled with forgiveness, instruction, preparation, commissioning, and disciple making. In a very real way we reflect God through our fathering.
Throughout the Scripture God compares his actions toward his children to that of the father’s actions toward his children. Here are three examples:
- As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13
- Because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:12
- Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. Hebrews 12:7-10
The way we raise our children, therefore, says a lot about what we believe about God and according to A.W. Tozer, what we believe about God is the most important thing about us.
Finishing the Great Commission.
Our first ministry starts at home. God is very clear in the mission he left us that we are to be teaching all things he commanded us until all the nations hear of the love of Christ. As a father and as a disciple of Jesus making other disciples, our work starts at home and expands out from there. We are teaching our children how to love God. This is the most powerful and fruitful of all ministry. Our work as fathers has an eternal impact on our children.
And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
God is seeking godly offspring.
God’s desire is through our fathering and his presence with us and working in us, we would co-labor and cultivate godly children, who would love him and serve God all the days of their life. God’s desire is for a people that would be a picture of his life and love to a lost world. Our work raising our children is not second rate, nor is it to be passed off to our wives to teach our children. As the spiritual leaders of the home, raising up our children to love and serve God is our responsibility and the Holy Spirit’s help is available.
The problem is many of us haven’t had a father in our lives that served as a great example to us. We’ve had to figure out this fathering thing on our own. But we are not without hope or help. God says he is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows and orphans. He comes to the lonely and broken places of our lives and gives us grace to do things we never could without his help. The Bible gives us general principles, but doesn’t always iron out the details. We need the wisdom of God.