Being Fathers’ Day again, we want to uphold and honour the fathers among us. Theirs is not an easy task; many things depend on them. We include grandfathers in this today, for their role is also vital.
Some of the most mixed-up and unhappy people I’ve known in life did not have a good father. On the other hand, most of the well-balanced people I’ve known had good parents. Fathers can make or break their children, and this passes on to grandchildren.
In the world around us we see good men trying their best to be good fathers. But we also see foolish fathers, cruel fathers, selfish fathers, and absent fathers. When Paul led a prayer to the heavenly Father, he pointed out that “every family in heaven and on earth derives its name” from the Father (Ephesians 3:14-16). The implication is that earthly fathers have an important role, just as the heavenly father does. So, lets ask the question, “What kind of father does God want you to be? Here are some thoughts:
1. A father who is engaged with his family. Nothing means more to him than his children. When kids develop a close bond with their father, they grow up emotionally stable and find themselves on the road to maturity. “Bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph.6:4).
2. A manly father. It’s important to model what a man is. Our current sexual confusion in society often comes from fathers who don’t live and act in a masculine way. A strong masculine presence in the home adds balance and direction.
3. He provides sensitive leadership. With the help of his wife, he identifies the needs and direction his home needs to take and works to provide it. In Genesis 49, Jacob called his 12 sons together to give the counsel before he died. In Acts 10:24, Cornelius “called together his relatives and close friends” to hear Peter. It’s safe to think his children were also present. Good men provide good leadership.
4. He challenges misbehavior and provides discipline. Home can be a zoo if a father doesn’t provide order. Children learn a better way to live and behave when corrected and guided by their fathers. Harried mothers appreciate his help, provided it is wise and skilful.
Many other things could be suggested: Fathers provide but don’t spoil, protect but don’t insulate, do fun things but know when to be serious. No room to develop these points in this article.
Fathers: your role is hugely important, and we honour you today!
– Tim Johnson