A few months ago, I listened to the harrowing news about a father who took his two children and jumped off the bridge. He had been quarrelling with their mother and angrily left the house with the two children. When he got to the bridge, he jumped off holding the two children with him. He died instantly, but the children miraculously survived although both of them sustained injuries. One of the boys suffered a collapsed lung while the other suffered a spinal cord injury. Very pathetic! But what kind of father who claims to love his children would want to paint a very traumatic image that will potentially haunt his children forever. Seriously, who does that? But that father’s suicide is probably an extreme case. However, millions of fathers by virtue of not understanding what fatherhood is all about have place their families in precarious positions. Many more have forgotten or don’t even know what fatherhood is all about and they dare to call themselves fathers! Daily, millions of Christian families are in different levels of turmoil because men have a poor understanding of what it means to be called ‘Father.’
What is fatherhood? In a movie, I watched some years ago, one character describes fatherhood as a blessing.’ To many others, fatherhood is a huge responsibility and commitment; whether you feel like being a father or not’, you have to play the role of a father. Even when your selfish inclinations are taking the better of you, you still need to caution yourself and be a Father! That is if you know what that word even means! A definition of father says that it is a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector or provider.
God is our most excellent example of fatherhood. He embodies all the qualities that our earthly fathers’ ought to possess. The bible sometimes uses the symbol of fatherhood to portray God’s attributes.
Psalm 103:13 says, ‘As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. Proverbs 3: 12 says, ‘because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.’ Luke 11:11-13 says, ‘Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? “Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
Fatherhood is a commitment and a serious call to duty. The Bible instructs us on how fathers should behave. Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” A father should bring out the best in his children and not frustrate them out of God’s plan. This means that the father must first of all have a Christ-like attitude. If a father has no Christ-like attitude to life, how can he guide his children when he lacks an understanding of godly principles? If a father has a poor attitude, it can affect the child’s initial perception about God, our heavenly father. Thus, if you had a terrible father, it may actually be difficult to see God as terrific because you will likely mirror God in the image of the earthly father you know. Except, the Holy Spirit intervenes to give you an accurate picture of who our heavenly father is.
Every day, we read harrowing accounts of what men do to their wives and children. It is as if men have turned to beasts. Except God intervenes, fatherhood is under attack and only God can sanitize the hearts of men to seek after him and adopt ways that are pleasing to God and a blessing to families and Christendom. God is not a beast and neither should his sons be.
Therefore, today more than ever before, we need fathers who are grounded in the Word of God and have a balanced view of discipline, relationships, career growth and life in general. We need fathers who have been sanitized by the everlasting word of God and take their duty to fatherhood seriously. When a father’s lifestyle is consistent with scripture, it is easier for his children to learn about God because they have and see a walking Bible in their daily lives. #GodlyFathers
Let godly fathers arise today to their responsibilities and take the lead in their homes as priests, providers, protectors and pathfinders to God. When we have fathers living up to their calling in the home, dysfunctionality will decrease and more children will be raised in environments where God is glorified and lives are lived to the fullest potential!