HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! There are hundreds of quotes about fathers and fatherhood. Many, many books have been written about and to fathers. There is story after story about fathers who exhibited virtues and characteristics of being a good father. And I’m sure there are tens of thousands of Father’s Day cards that have gone out for this occasion.
But the one book I look to is the Bible. The collective wisdom and instructions found in the Holy Book are not based on the customs of those ancient days, but on the principles that apply to fathers back then and now today.
Here are just a few:
Psalm 127:3-5 Behold, children are an inheritance from the Lord. Think of it this way. God wants you to invest in them the same way He has invested in you.
Psalm 103:13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who reverence Him. I don’t think the Psalmist would mind if we invert this saying to read: As the Lord shows compassion to those who reverence Him, a father should show compassion to his children so they will respect him.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it. It doesn’t mean you choose your children’s career for them. What it does imply is that you train your child to know right from wrong, good from bad, holy from evil, truth from lies, honesty from dishonesty, etc. In other words, the Biblical principles of right living.
Proverbs 23:24 The father of those who live right will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise child will be glad to see them in action. You cannot impart intelligence to a child, but you can help them learn how to use the intellect they have to succeed. Don’t expect more out of a child than they can deliver, but take what they are able to do and help them improve on it.
Luke 11:11-12 What father among you, if his child asks for a fish, instead of a fish will give them a snake, or if they ask for an egg, will give them a scorpion? Jesus chose the most disgusting items a father could give a child to make His point. The principle here is that fathers should never give a child anything to keep them quiet just because they don’t want to take time to find out what the child really wants or needs.
Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not aggravate your children till they become angry, bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. The question always seems to be, “How should I discipline my children?” One thing is for sure, abuse is not discipline. Discipline calls for balance. Children will often resist correction. But the last thing a father wants to do is make their child mad in the process.
Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not pick on your children, they will become discouraged. There is a big difference between pointing out a child’s need for learning and pointing out all their faults. Sadly, the phrase, “You never do anything right,” or, “You’ll never amount to anything!” is heard in too many homes. As the old saying goes, “If you keep telling a child they aren’t worth anything, don’t be surprised if they end up feeling they are worth nothing.”
Titus 2:1-15 But as for you, teach what agrees with sound doctrine. This may sound simple enough on the surface, but there’s more to it than just having a Bible study with your family. The way a person can judge whether or not a doctrine is sound is, first of all, what does the Bible say, and secondly, do you practice what you preach?
1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God. If we can be proud of the fact that God loves us so much, He calls us His children, then any parent should be happy when a boy or girl boasts about being your child because of the way you love them.
There is only one perfect Father, and He is in heaven. But there is no reason we cannot emulate His virtues and characteristics. There are no two fathers alike because there are no such things as identical families. But we do have the family of God. Learn this: If you treat your wife and children at home the same way you treat your spiritual family in Church, you may find out that one will help you grow to be better in the other. – Dr. Robert R Seyda