Five biblical instructions for fathers
By Kyle Patterson
While the Bible doesn’t necessarily give us all the details on how we are to parent our children, there are a few key passages of instruction that we do well to remember. The truth is, fatherhood is a sacred responsibility and a trust committed to us men by our Father in Heaven. God is after all seeking godly offspring, the book of Malachi teaches us. We have responsibility to teach and train our children up in the things of God. The truth is, we want our children to go further and beyond in life and in God than we were able to go. So we invest ourselves in our children, raising them up to love God and love their neighbor. Here are a few of the biblical instructions to fathers to help your children become all they were made to be in God.
Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart. Colossians 3:21
As fathers we have to be thoughtful and prayerful in our discipline toward our children. The Bible tells us not to exasperate our children. This means we are not to irritate intensely or infuriate them. We are to be sensitive to their developing hearts and minds, even in our discipline. We need to be aware of their fallen nature and lead them to the cross and relationship with Christ in our discipline. Rather than focusing on the external performance, we need to look at the inward heart attitudes and help them deal with the inner man, not behavior modication. As we allow our children to make mistakes and acknowledge their own propensity to sin and disobey, we have an opportunity to preach the gospel to them as they see the truths of the gospel play out right before their eyes, in their own lives.
He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently. Proverbs 13:24
It’s easy to fall into lazy cycles with our children and not deal with issues our children are walking through. We’re all busy, and it can be a bother to interrupt what we are doing and spend 5 minutes talking with our children and coming up with an appropriate punishment. But it's worth it and it's necessary. So take the 5 minutes, sometimes their behavior may be to get your attention.
Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. Psalm 103:13
Even in our discipline, we can respond with compassion, knowing that is how God deals with us. He doesn’t deal with us as our sins deserve, the Bible teaches us. He is ever merciful and compassionate. When we fall, we can run to him, not from him. Can your children run to you when they fail or are they afraid they will experience your wrath?
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Our role as fathers is to train and teach our children. This isn’t the role of the mother only, or of the school only. We are responsible to teach and train our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Our children are in a very real way our disciples and our influence can not be overlooked.
Hear, my son, your father's instruction And do not forsake your mother's teaching; Proverbs 1:8
We are to teach our children the ways of the Lord. Talking of them on the road, in the car, on the way to school. Deuteronomy teaches us to impress the ways of God on our children, meditating on them, talking of them, and fixing our minds on God.