Society has a tendency to portray dads as unintelligent, expendable goofballs who make a nice addition to a family but really aren’t necessary. But what does the Bible say and is it attainable?
I am by no means qualified to discern the primary responsibilities of a father from scripture so I am using going to share a list from Pastor Scott Harris of Grace Bible Church in NY, you can read the full context here. For my purposes I am pasting the list, I feel that provides a nice overview of the basics of a biblical father.
Now here is where it gets tricky. Is this attainable? I myself grew up in a home of multiple divorces from each parent so my relationships, not only with my father, but with my stepfathers also, were sporadic at best and they did not fulfill many if any of these items. Luckily I have a another personal guinea pig, my husband. So I am going to analyze his fulfillment of each one.
I am now a stay at home mom, nuf said. He is willing and able to work enough that our family can exist with me home caring for our children. Even before this he has always worked and provided, not just our needs but most of our wants as well. When the bottom fell out of our economy and he was laid off for a year (before we had kids) he actively sought new work the entire time.
2. Instruct his children (Prov. 1:8)
My husband teaches our son everyday in direct and indirect ways. Directly, like when my son gets 3 year old frustrated and decides to speak angrily to me I know I will hear my husband step in lovingly “Joel that’s not how we talk to Mama, you need to….” or indirectly, like showing him how to respond to people in need (running back across the parking lot to open the door for a man with a walker even though we didn’t see him until we were almost at our car because that’s the right thing to do and convenience should not be considered).
3. Exhort, encourage and implore children (1 Thess 2:11)
My son’s biggest fan may be Mommy but his biggest cheerleader is Dad. My husband is always there to encourage Jidge whether things get hard or he’s already excelling.
4. Punish unruly children (Dt. 21:18-21) & 6. Discipline his children (Heb 12:7) *I am combining his two because they seem pretty similar to me. *
I am with our children more so I handle the day to day punishment (and honestly at this point in their lives our little ones still don’t need alot since the oldest has a usually teachable spirit and the youngest is an infant). But when the situation warrants or when I am not being given proper respect by a boundary testing preschooler I can count 100% on my husband backing me up, stepping in, whatever is needed.
Without ever raising his voice or losing his cool he encourages and nurtures a curious, strong willed preschooler, enduring the neverending questions about God and life, laughing at the jokes that don’t yet make sense and gently guiding him away from paths and choices that would bring harm.
7. Love his wife (Eph 5:25,28,33)
I admittedly make this difficult at times I am certain and yet he unfailingly loves and me and reminds me with his actions of my worth as a redeemed member of the body of Christ. (Plus he makes me feel pretty 🙂 )
So I declare that despite the weighty list of responsibilities placed on a father I am seeing it lived out daily and biblical fatherhood is attainable and realistic. I am so thankful to have a husband who relies on the power of our heavenly Father to be a husband father.
Comment with why your husband or father is one of the “good ones”.
Happy Father’s Day my dear 🙂