by Pastor Robert Miller
Fathering is a skill that is much needed in families today. Because of poor or absent role models, many Dads just do not know what to do. Leaving fathering skills to what comes naturally can prove to be a disaster. Fathering is a learned activity and the Bible has much to say about the characteristics of a Godly father. There is an anointing that comes with the title of Father. If we rely on that anointing through knowledge of the Word, then that anointing will direct us and equip us for supernatural fathering. With God’s anointing our children will be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We need God’s anointing to break the cycle of destruction that has occurred in many families.
Lets start with a scripture from Genesis 18:17-19, “And the LORD said,”Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him” God’s blessings and His ways are taught to the children by their parents. In this case the role of Father is mentioned.
The first characteristic of a Godly father is that he demonstrates a vital, close relationship with the Lord. God said that Abraham’s knowledge of God and his willingness to command his children is the foundation for the blessing of God in Abraham’s family. This is true for present day fathers. There are some practical ways that we as fathers can demonstrate a close walk with the Lord. We can initiate spiritual activity within our families. For example, allow your family to hear you praying, establish a devotion time with your family. Fathers, you be the ones who instigate regular church attendance.
Fathers should demonstrate their love for God through serving. Service should be encouraged and modeled. Church is a great place to start learning to serve others and a wonderful opportunity to serve as a family. Service to our families also takes another road. A father should learn to serve his family by instructing and guiding his children. The goal is to prepare them for life and to equip them to hear from God concerning His plans.
In Hebrew instruction means to bring to completion. The best instruction a father can impart to his children is when he portrays a picture of our heavenly Father. As he models Father God, the children learn how to respond to God in their lives. God holds parents responsible for instructing their children. A father must see the importance of his role in the lives of his children. He is not to be a friend to them but rather a parent. Children require the involvement of their parents in their lives. Training means involvement. It is more than just telling children what to do; it is becoming involved with them while they are learning.
A father should demonstrate love for the mother of his children. 1 Peter 3:7 says a father needs to understand his wife. He becomes the role model of a loving, nurturing person living in a loving relationship with his wife. This relationship is essential to his spiritual life and answered prayer. A father’s understanding of how to live in a relationship is summed up by this statement: He needs to make sure that what occurs between he and his wife follows the law of love. Therefore, he is very concerned about what he says, his attitude toward his wife and children and that he gives himself for the family. This of course requires a stable character. The aim here is to become consistent (regular and predictable). This will instill security into his children. He should govern his mood, be present in the family, keep his promises, display good ethics, keep a regular schedule and know the interests of his family. This cannot be done in ones strength alone. It requires the hand of God. But 1 Peter 3:7-9 promises that if a father will seek and live rightly in his home, then he will become heirs with his family of the grace of life. Thank God for grace that empowers us to know God’s blessings.