Parenting – Fatherhood

What is a father?

A father is a man who has begotten a child. The Greek word for father is pater, derived from a root word that means “nourisher, protector, upholder.” To father a child means to accept responsibility for and to provide leadership, guidance, and protection for his children. A child’s perception of his or her earthly father will profoundly influence the child’s concept of God. Matthew 7:11 “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

To determine your biblical accountability as a father, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you demonstrate before your children a reverence for God? “Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.” (Psalm 112:1–2)
  • Do you have a sacrificial love for your wife? This kind of love by the father provides one of the greatest forms of security for a child. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25)
  • Do you take godly responsibility for the leadership of your home? “For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just.” (Genesis 18:19)
  • Do you provide financial support for your family? “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8)
  • Do you have a heart of sacrifice for your children? “When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them [his children] purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, ‘Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ This was Job’s regular custom.” (Job 1:5)
  • Do you take responsibility for your children’s spiritual training? “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
  • Do you lovingly discipline your children? “The Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” (Proverbs 3:12)
  • Do you teach your children to respectfully obey? A requirement for a church leader such as an overseer or elder is … “He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.” (1 Timothy 3:4)
  • Do you comfort your children and urge them to live godly lives? “You know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” (1 Thessalonians 2:11–12)
  • Do you pray for your children? “Then Manoah prayed to the Lord: ‘O Lord, I beg you, let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.’ ” (Judges 13:8)

Even if your child continues to make choices that are wrong, as a parent, you are responsible for communicating what is right. You are not accountable for your child’s wrong decision, but you are accountable for your own right parenting. If you won’t try to teach your child what is right, who will? “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 13:14)