Any man can be a father; but it takes someone special to be a daddy.
Fatherhood is not for the faint of heart. It’s certainly not something a person should take lightly. In fact, it has been said that the rate of failure at fatherhood is higher than any other occupation. It’s also one where you cannot set a salary or receive any monetary benefits. That sounds somewhat depressing, doesn’t it.
Yet, being a father is the most important job that a man can have. It is not a part-time job, but one which requires the father to give of himself full-time. It’s not a job for which you can go to college for and hope to get a degree that qualifies you for the position. In fact, even though you don’t receive a salary for being a dad, there is much you receive that has no price tag.
The Bible clearly shows that God’s pattern for every home and family is built on a godly father. Over and over again, the Bible shows that to be without a father is a great affliction and hardship for a family. Hosea 14:3–. . . In you the fatherless find compassion. Psalm 146:9–The Lord . . . Sustains the fatherless and the widow.
Sadly, there are many homes without a father. Sadder still, is a household in which the father is there, but chooses to not fill the biblical role of a father. Sometimes, it is because the father just needs someone to come alongside and encourage him in this role. Sometimes, the father needs to reevaluate his priorities. Please know that this message is not intended to criticize or pass guilt onto anyone. As a father of eight children, I can confess to you that I have failed miserably many times at being a godly father. My children can probably tell you of many more times in which they have felt I had failed. However, that would not stop me from wanting and striving to be a godly father.
May God help us as Fathers, to fill our roles in a Biblical manner.
Looking at the Bible, we will find three main needs within a family that the father should give himself fully to provide. There are probably more than this, but for the sake of the message today, I’m limiting it to three.
We want to give our children the very best. That’s just how God seems to have programmed us dads. However, provisions entail much more than we might think. I want to take a little closer look at this area with all of you.
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.
Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.
As we read those two verses, we could almost have a knee-jerk reaction and go to the extreme of providing beyond real needs. Or we can be led down the pathway of guilt, thinking we’re not doing enough. We need to be careful that we don’t put too much emphasis on things or money. Here’s a good verse Paul wrote to Timothy that we would do well to remember:
If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
Not only do we need to take care of the physical needs, but we need to provide a healthy helping of spiritual and emotional provisions. We need to provide love, training, positive example, encouragement, and spiritual leadership. You don’t have to be a theologian or have a degree from a Bible college. You merely need to have a desire to be the spiritual leader of the family. Even the qualifications for spiritual leadership mentioned in 1 Timothy and Titus, we find that being a good spiritual leader in one’s family, is at the head of the lists.
According to the Bible, fathers stand symbolically in the same position over your family that God stands in over His people. Fathers, we represent God to our family. We are to train them in righteousness; not just the what’s and hows, by the whys. We should teach children to respond properly to those in authority. Children who love and obey their parents have taken that first step to loving and obeying God.
As we look back at this area of family provision, we are reminded that our family doesn’t necessarily need the things we can buy them, as much as they need us, as their dads. In that, we would do well to make sure that we are pointing them to Jesus Christ, even as Israel’s fathers were instructed in the Old Testament.
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
There are two primary areas that I’m going to focus on; namely, physical protection and spiritual protection.
Dads, we may not be a superhero or an Olympic athlete, but we can offer physical protection for our family. There are a variety of ways which this can be done, which I won’t go into at this time. But think about this. Isn’t it interesting when our children are younger, during frightening situations, they will come running to us and grab ahold of us with that childlike death grip. Again, it is a natural and normal reaction for the child to go to the father, knowing that he will do whatever he can to protect her.
Greater still, we know that spiritual protection is of paramount importance. Spiritual dangers can be overwhelming, because we are fighting against an unseen enemy, not against flesh and blood.
How do we do this? We can set an example of spiritual strength and stability. I am not suggesting perfection or that we conceal our concerns, fears, or frustrations. But we can show them where to take these things. We can set the example by going to God in prayer and leading them to do the same thing, with you doing it alongside them. We dare not allow Satan to get a foothold in our lives, personally. For iff Satan gets a foothold in your life, dads, he will have one in your family. You don’t want that. So what does the Bible say about this?
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Dads, do your best, with God’s help, to be certain that your family is not exposed to dangerous teaching that contradicts the Word of God. You can do that by being certain that the Bible is taught and talked about in your home as just a normal part of life. Train your children in the truth. Make every effort to surround your family with people who love the Lord. Be a regular participant in worshipping together with other brothers and sisters in a church.
By the way, our children are responsible for their own decisions and choices. However, we are responsible to provide the framework for them to know about making the right choices.
It’s been said that prayer is not macho; but it is manly.
When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.
Job habitually prayed for each of his children. King David prayed for Solomon and Solomon was greater than any king in Israel.
I believe that one of the greatest failures of dads is the failure to prayer for our children. I recognize that our wives are probably much better at this than we are. Even though we can assume that the pastor is diligently praying for each family, that doesn’t excuse any of us dads. God has committed your family to you. Part of your responsibility is to pray for your wife and your children.
Remember I stated that dads don’t receive any financial compensation for being a father. Yet, there are rewards that are unsurpassed.
I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
As fathers, we have influential effects that we may never fully know. Brooks Adams kept a diary from his childhood. One day, when he was eight years old, he wrote in his diary, Went fishing with my father; the most glorious day of my life. Throughout the next 40 years of his life, he never forgot that day with his father, commenting many times as to the influence his dad had on his life.
His father was Charles Francis Adams, the United States ambassador to Great Britain under the Lincoln administration. He made a notation in his diary on the same fishing trip; Went fishing with my son; a day wasted.
My friends, I can assure you that this day was not wasted. The value of that fishing trip may have proved to make it one of the most well spent days in his life.
We can never truly measure the influence of a father on his wife and children. That is all the more reason to take our job as fathers seriously.
A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society. - Billy Graham
“A man ought to live so that everybody knows he’s a Christian... but most of all, his family ought to know.” (D.L. Moody)
Fathers, be a family provider; giving them what they truly need. Be a family protector. Be a father who prays for his family.
May God help us as Fathers, to fill our roles in a Biblical manner.