May God bless all of the fathers reading this article!  It’s good to recognize and honor fathers on Father’s Day!

Scripture leaves no doubt as to the importance of being a father – not to mention that we all share one Father, God Almighty (Genesis 1:26-27).

There are cultural and scriptural bases for providing for the family (1 Timothy 5:8).  Although being a provider is an important part of being a husband and father, fathers in today’s culture participate in the nurturing of their children and homemaking tasks to a substantially larger extent than in decades past – instead of simply viewing their role as a breadwinner.  This is a positive development, so long as working hard to be the “provider” doesn’t become pejorative in nature because of political and societal goals and ideologies.

In a general sense, men have historically been guilty of putting their work (job) ahead of all else, resulting in their work becoming their identities (even if they perform the work with excellence).  Our identity comes from God – not our job, as we are children of God, made in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26).

For a father, the balance of being a provider, yet working alongside his wife (helpmate) in the nurturing of children and homemaking, is a key challenge because men and women were created by God to excel in different areas and roles within the family.  It’s the view of this writer that God, spouse, children, family and then everything else seems to be the best order of priority.

As the spiritual head of the family, fathers have a serious responsibility to lead by putting God first.  A father should worship with, pray with, and cherish his wife as Jesus cherishes the church (Ephesians 5:25-32).

The failure (sin) of many has been to use scripture without proper context or understanding as justification for a lack of compassion or rudeness – barking directives to one’s wife instead of stepping in alongside, praying together and recognizing the importance of both mothers and fathers (or men and women) cooperating together to bring glory to God.  This cooperation brings peace and harmony within our lives, marriages and homes.  We are all of equal value to the Father!

Scripture is clear that a father is to impart instruction and wisdom to his children, such that they will grow to maturity in Christ and in turn, learn how to be a godly husband, father and provider in the future (Proverbs 22:6 and Psalm 103:13).

The bible has a special caution for fathers!  As we are raising our children, fathers are to be careful not to provoke our children to anger [wrath] as we bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).  As fathers are often the disciplinarian, a loving and prayerful approach is always best – never acting immediately out of anger or frustration.

In fact, when you and I require an “adjustment,” the bible makes it clear that the Lord will chasten us because He loves us and knows what is best for us – after all, He created us (Proverbs 3:11-12)!  Scripture says that the Lord will correct us, just like we as fathers sometimes need to correct our own children.  We do this because we delight in them (read: love them) and want God’s very best for them.  How we are “fathered by the Father” is the best example of how to father our own children.  Praise God!

We live in a time when being an earthly father can be exceedingly challenging, complicated or even conflicting.  Men are expected to provide for their families, be the spiritual leader of the home, love and cherish their wives as Christ loves the church, and provide instruction to their children.  These responsibilities are a blessing and highly rewarding, despite those nowadays who claim that masculinity is somehow “toxic” or unnecessary.  The composition of the family is God-ordained and it is God’s very best for us!

By the way, I recognize that sometimes single fathers and mothers are thrust into raising children on their own.  God bless you!  Rest assured that God sees your efforts and struggles.  He will give you the strength and wisdom to complete the mission.  Seek the Lord in all your ways and His blessing will surely rest upon you.  After all, you’re His child!

God bless you, fathers! Never forget how incredibly important you are to your family.  The Lord sees and knows your struggles, the unseen victories, and the perseverance you bring to the table every day.

Referenced scripture:

Genesis 1:26-27 (NKJV)
“Then God said, ‘[l]et Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

1 Timothy 5:8 (NKJV)
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

Ephesians 5:25-32 (NKJV)
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.  So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.  For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.  ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’  This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Psalm 103:13 (ESV)
“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear [H]im.”

Ephesians 6:2-4 (ESV)
“‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.’  Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [wrath], but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

Proverbs 3:11-12 (NKJV)
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, [n]or detest His correction; [f]or whom the Lord loves He corrects, [j]ust as a father [corrects] the son in whom he delights.”

Praise Jesus forevermore!

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