This morning I thought I’d reflect a bit on the Biblical responsibilities of a father. Most of the references to fathers in the Bible are in the stories themselves, but relatively little instruction is given directly to fathers. I do not hesitate to say, however, that if a man is wondering how he can be a good father, his main source of instruction should be Scripture. The entire Bible is the foundation for good fatherhood.
When I think about being a good father, and I try to evaluate how I’ve been doing so far, I take verses like Proverbs 4:20-22 (there are many others like it) and ask myself the question, can I say this to my children?
My [children], be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.
The truth is, my words will never be as wise as Solomon’s, but thankfully the wisdom of God is available to all of us through the Bible, through wise mentors and teachers in the church and through the Spirit of God within us. My responsibility is to treasure the wisdom of God; to be a father who’s children can look up to and seek council from.
I see father’s day as a day to not only honour the fathers in our lives, but also as a reminder that God has given me the tremendous responsibility to take care of three of His children. With God’s help, I commit to passing on wisdom to my children and to be an example of one who’s treasure is Christ and who’s purpose is to glorify our eternal Father, who is in heaven. As J.I. Packer has said, “What is a Christian? The richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father.”
Happy Father’s Day!