I have been working on a little devotional for fathers and thought I might share some of it with you from time to time. I know I need it!
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
The Bible doesn’t have a lot to say specifically about parenting. One place it does talk about it is Ephesians 6:4. We might expect Paul to begin his instructions on parenting by saying, “Parents.” But he doesn’t.
Instead, he says, ”Fathers.”
Now, obviously, Paul’s not minimizing the mother’s role. There are many passages throughout Scripture that show us the important part a mother plays in raising children. But certainly, Paul is emphasizing the father’s responsibility. And note, he’s not simply talking financially, either. As in, “Fathers, make sure you provide for your children.” No, he says fathers bring your children up. He wants fathers to understand the special responsibility they have in raising their children for God.
Maybe, at least partially, because he knows so many fathers don’t.
While Paul begins his instruction on parenting with a fairly simple word, fathers, our failure to listen does great damage. It is difficult to overemphasize the devastating impact a father’s failure to fulfill his biblical responsibilities will have on his family.
If you want proof you might just talk to someone who grew up without one.
Or, perhaps to someone who grew up with a man who was there in the home but didn’t know how to be a father. Because, that is a kind of fatherlessness as well. And it can be even worse.
As a father, you will have a tremendous influence on your family. Your relationship with your children matters.
Maybe more than you know.
As one author explains, “there are too many men out there who don’t know their own strength.” You might remember playing with your younger brother growing up. Sometimes you would be wrestling and it would get out of control and your parents would have to come into the room and tear the two of you apart. Even though you were just playing and having fun, you were hurting your younger brother or sister.
You didn’t know how strong you were.
When it comes to their families, a lot of men still don’t.
How about you?
Your role in your family is more important, more crucial and more influential than you think it is. You can’t just say oh my wife will deal with the kids and I will make the money, no!
Because Paul says, FATHERS!
One of the first steps toward honoring God in your family is to recognize and accept the role God has given you in the child-rearing process.
Take Time to Reflect:
1. What impact did your own father have on you either negatively or positively?
2. What are some ways you are tempted to avoid accepting responsibility for the leadership role God’s given you in your family?
It’s difficult to grow as a father if you are not committed to growing as a father. Take some time to evaluate yourself. God is calling you to lead your family. Are you honestly willing to accept that responsibility? If not, ask God to cause you to repent. If you have failed to obey God in this area of your life, ask him for forgiveness and ask your family for forgiveness. And if you want to commit to leading your family, humbly go to God and express your desire to obey Him and ask Him to help you be who He is calling you to be.