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He counted me faithful,
putting me into the ministry.
What Kind of Father Do You Have?
What Kind of Father Do You Have?
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (Exodus 20:12)
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. (Heb 12:9, 10)
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
The words father and fathers appear in the Bible more than 1400 times. The Bible gives tremendous emphasis to the influence and responsibilities of both mothers and fathers. It also insists upon the proper attitudes and actions of sons and daughters toward their parents. More particularly let us note that children are to honor their parents no matter what kind of parents they have. Especially since it is Father's Day, I would emphasize that we are to honor our fathers no matter what they are like.
There are a privileged few who have had the very best of fathers. And, we thank God both for the very best and for those who have done a very good job of being a good father. In many ways most people probably could wish that they had a better earthly father; and, similarly, many fathers probably wish that they had done a much better job of fathering.
God is the final judge and He knows the motives of the hearts and understands every limitation with which each father contends. And He, Who is also the very best and perfect Father in all the universe, is very willing, ready, and able to assist a God-fearing man in following His example. Therefore, what I write today is not meant to reflect on any fathers nor is it intended to bemoan the lack of true fatherly influence in our day; but, rather I write to give some small insight and perhaps influence toward a proper grasp of the father's role in the life of his children, and consequently, the resultant advantages or disadvantages to them.
Now I ask the question, "What kind of father do you have?". Is he an Absent Father, a Weak Father, an Abusive Father; or, is he a Good Father, an Exemplary Father, or even a Godly Father? We will consider these different types briefly, and then deal with a couple important matters for their offspring (whatever their ages). I do not claim that this is an complete list, but only use it to help us see the picture a little better.
First, we will comment on the unworthy fathers. They exemplify what a father should not be.
An Absent Father
The Bible refers to a class of children as "the fatherless". We are to pity them and help take care of them when possible.
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the FATHERLESS and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)
Many of the "absent" fathers, are actually absent because they are deceased. Wars, diseases, accidents, and murderers are responsible for taking the lives of many fathers (and may not be the fault of the fathers in question). Such is a very sad situation, especially in those cases where the children are still at home. But, there are much sadder cases in which the father is absent from his children.
There are "workaholics" who decide for whatever reason or excuse that their work is more important than time with their children. Among the "workaholics", we might place the minister, who is thoroughly devoted to his ministry, but to such an extent that his devotion to his children suffers.
Then there are pleasure seekers, who would rather spend their time seeking their own pleasures than to invest in the lives of their children -- an investment, by the way, that brings much more wholesome and lasting pleasure.
One of the worst absent father situations is the case of the "father" who begets children out of the bounds of marriage and afterward totally disregards his responsibility to care for such children.
Another absent father is the one that either divorces his wife or is divorced by his wife. No matter whose fault this may be (usually both are at least partially to blame), the children usually, if not always, suffer most of all. This situation has been further aggravated by a rivalry for the children between the parents. Children are many times used as weapons to "get back at" the former spouse. Children are quick to catch on and will realize that they are being so used.
A Weak Father
Fathers are to be leaders in the home. The home with a weak father, one with little or no backbone, is an unstable home. A weak father is one who has few if any real convictions and who is willing to compromise and violate his conscience rather than stand up to the pressure. A weak father lacks the courage to face problems. Children need fathers who will be true leaders with courage, backbone, and true convictions.
An Abusive Father
Of all the unworthy fathers, this one I find to be the most offensive. In this class we have at least three kinds of abusers: the verbally abusive, the physically abusive, and the sexually abusive. Many times these three types will be found in one unworthy father. All of these types of abuse make children feel worthless or even guilty -- as though they had done something wrong or were born inferior or defective. In many cases, they have a tendency to perpetuate evil, abusive behaviors toward themselves and others long after they leave home. When the father should provide a sense of security and acceptance, the abusive father actually causes insecurity and even self-deprecation.
Now, let's consider the worthy fathers.
A Good Father
I use this term to represent all the many good moral fathers out there the do a decent job of providing a proper father figure for children. Many times these fathers are fathers, not only to their own children, but also to others. Sometimes, they even take responsibly the job of fathering an adopted child. They have a few, if not many, faults; but, on the whole they are to be looked up to for their good qualities. A good father will generally do all that he is supposed to do, and really does care about his children.
An Exemplary Father
What I mean by exemplary, is that this father is outstanding in relation to even the "good" fathers. It is hard to find fault with his fathering in any way, except by a sour critic that is bent upon finding fault. He is everything a good father can possibly be with the help of his own moral upbringing and the continuing exercise of his will and discipline. He loves his children and prizes them beyond any other earthly treasure. He also has a great relationship with his wife, and is faithful her in all the marriage vows. This type of father is to be highly esteemed.
A Godly Father
Above all others, this is the type of father that every child needs. He will be a good father, and may be an exemplary father; but, he will be more than that. He will be like God, because he is a godly man. He will have a spiritual dimension to his life that other "good fathers" know nothing about. He is a man of prayer, a man of principle and convictions, and is will lead his family in worshipping God. The reason he is so much like God is that he has had a transformation of his heart -- he has been "born again", a spiritual birth. To maintain and enlarge his spiritual life, he will "go on unto perfection" by allowing the Holy Spirit to cleanse his heart from all sin. This will enable him to love God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself. He will live for his God first and his family second. This man may still have a few, or even many, faults, but will not willfully break any of God's laws, nor will he choose to do anything that would hurt his children whether by commission or omission.
In grasping, or even grappling with, the proper role of a father, many of us will doubtless feel that our fathers fell far short of what we needed in a father. Therefore, we must also experience the reality of true, wholehearted forgiveness toward such a father. This likely requires the grace of God in our hearts. By granting such forgiveness, we take one giant step toward the healing that God will provide for any damage an unworthy father may have caused to our person and life.
Finally, I ask, is God your Father? No matter what kind of earthly father you and I may have had, or may not have had, we may have God as our very own Heavenly Father. He is the Father we all may have, as adopted sons and daughters, siblings of our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ, Who gave His life for us that he might "bring many sons unto glory" (Hebrews 2:10).
What kind of Father is He?
He is the "Everlasting Father". He is loving, kind, and understanding. He is everywhere present and is always near us. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is the Almighty God; no one can stand against Him. He is ever attentive, ready to listen, and always hears when we cry. He is only good with not the slightest sliver of evil within His nature. He has promised to "supply all" our "need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). There is none better than He; and, he can make up the difference when our earthly fathers are absent or unworthy.
Again I ask, is God your Father? If not, all you need to do is call upon Jesus Christ, the Son of God, while confessing and forsaking your sins, and believe Him to forgive your sins and to make you a child of God, the Heavenly Father.
Yours in Christ,
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Last edited by BibleNote Writer, 21/Aug/2015, 12:15 pm
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
The Bible Note Writer
written to glorify God
and to help souls
on the way to Heaven.
17/Jan/2008, 12:12 am
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