The Role of the Father
It is a sad thing that in our day and age the role of father has been so often abandoned. We have men who are willing to beget children but unwilling to raise these children they have helped to bring into this world. Last year the US Census Bureau released a report that stated that one in every four children live in a home that is void of their biological father. That tells us that nearly twenty-five percent of the men who help bring children into this world abandon their post as a father.
May I offer a plea to our men to step and be a father to your children. This is not a role that can truly be fulfilled through weekend visits and child support. It is a role that is full time in our life. Our children are suffering from a lack of fathers in the home. How then shall we fill the role of a father?
TO KNOW GOD
The first step in being able to ably fill the role of a father is to know the eternal Father above. “I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.” (I John 2:13) We will know how to be a father to our children when we follow the example of our Heavenly Father in how He shows His love to us. Should we think ourselves to be more capable than God? I dare say we cannot. Therefore, let us learn from the greatest Father.
The second step to filling the role of a father is to correct. “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” (Hebrews 12:9) Correction is an action of leadership. We have heard in our society that a man should be the pal of his son. I believe it is good and healthy for a man and his son to be very close, even pals with his son, but not at the cost of giving no correction. When a father does not correct his sons mistakes, he is doing a great disservice to his son.
TO BE GENTLE
The third thing we need to do as fathers is to be gentle with our children. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Matthew 7:11) If we deal with our children in anger they will be angry with us. It is best not to discipline our children when we are angry for we should discipline with love in a spirit of nurturing and admonition rather than with a spirit of anger. A father can be firm, decisive, but gentle. It is the firm but gentle father who will earn the hearts of his children.
TO GIVE INSTRUCTION
It is the father’s responsibility to teach his children. “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:” (Proverbs 1:8) The father should give instruction and the mother is there to reinforce and help with teaching of the children. Too many fathers become disengaged with the instruction of their children. They leave it in the hands of a daycare, a schoolteacher, a coach, or even heap the whole responsibility upon the wife. Yet the father should be very engaged the child’s instruction.
If we as fathers fail to fill the role of a father and bring our children close to the Father above, another father will step into fill our place destroying the lives of the ones we love. “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do…” (John 8:44) May we determine to be the fathers our children need us to be for them to the glory of God.