As a Father
By Pastor J.D. Link
The founder of Father’s Day as we know it was Sonora Dodd, who wanted a day to honor her father. He was a Civil War veteran who had raised her and her five siblings after her mother died. The first official “Father’s Day” service was in 1910 in Spokane Washington. President Wilson (1916) and Coolidge (1924) voiced their support for Father’s Day; but an official proclamation didn’t happen until 1966, when President LBJ made the third Sunday in June of that year Father’s Day. In 1972, President Nixon made the third Sunday in June the official and permanent day of celebrating Father’s Day.
Fatherhood is a God given position of honor, responsibility, and leadership. It is a position of authority, guidance, protection, and provision. In the last 50 years, feminist ideology has done it’s best to devalue the role of the masculine, and that of the father. Unfortunately, in many respects it has been successful in feminizing men. Because we have sown the wind, we are reaping the whirlwind in our culture (Hos 8:7).
As men – as fathers – in this nation, we need to get back to doing what the Bible says when it comes to being a father and a husband. Forget what the so-called experts and feminists say. Their philosophies have gotten us nothing but broken homes; broken marriages; selfish, lazy men that won’t lead; domineering women that won’t be submissive; and rebellious, disrespectful kids. “Liberation” from God’s ways is bondage to Satan’s ways. Do you want to be truly free? God’s Word says, “Who the Son makes free, is free indeed” (Jn 8:36).
1Th 2:10-12 says “Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”
Notice in verse 11 the three things that a godly father does for his children: He exhorts, comforts, and gives charge. These are not the only characteristics of a godly father, but these are the three I would like to look at today.
To exhort means “to call near, or alongside.” Fathers have the responsibility of calling their children near to God. The most important thing you can do as a father is lead your children in the ways of God, and into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is the Father’s God-given duty to give instruction (Prv 1:8, 4:1, 6:20, 13:1). Fathers are to first have their own relationship with God, and then teach their children the same (Dt 11:18-21). As fathers, we must also be the example (1Cor 11:1). If we do not live near to God, and don’t make Him the priority in our life; then we shouldn’t expect our children to, either.
Fathers should lead their family in worship, Bible study and prayer. If we do not lead, our family cannot follow. Be the leader your family needs you to be. Step up to the plate. Your wife and children are looking to you for direction. Dads set the bar. They set the standard.
A father is to comfort his family as well. Your wife and kids need to know they can come to you and be comforted; not receive harsh criticism and judgment (Col 3:19, 21). A father helps comfort his family by being a provider, a protector, and speaking words of encouragement. Your family needs to know that they can trust you; that you will be there for them; that you put them before yourself. Too often fathers care more about their time, their toys and their friends; and their wife and kids take the back seat. It is God first, then family, then XYZ.
Fathers are also to give charge to their children. The word charge means to be a witness; to testify. It also means to give instruction. As godly fathers, we need to talk our walk, and walk our talk. Prv 20:7 “The just man walks in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.” Fathers need to give godly counsel from the Word of God on issues that arise in our families, and instruct our children on what to do. Always point your children to God’s Word. Even though we fail at times and make mistakes, the Word of God will never let them down.
Fathers, your role is vitally important. Please don’t take it lightly. God has given you the honor of being the priest, prophet, and king of your home. In the Old Testament, priests made intercession for the people; prophets spoke forth God’s Word; and kings made decisions and governed. Do not be an overbearing tyrant, for Jesus Himself came not to be served, but to serve (Mt 20:28); but rather do things God’s way, and you’ll see God’s blessing on your home, and ultimately society will benefit. I pray that you had a blessed Father’s Day. Wives and children, pray for your husbands and fathers. They need it, and so do you! Selah.