Father’s Day is a celebration in America honoring fathers and father figures for their contributions to those around them, particularly the family. Men who play such a role often express the joys and great blessings of fatherhood. Indeed, it is very important and valuable but often an underestimated role in our society. In this article I will seek to encourage fathers and father figures to strive in following areas to honor God and love those whom they lead.
A fundamental aspect in the relationship between a father and his child is in the area of encouragement. Men should seek to inspire, instill confidence, build up hope, and support their children in whatever aims they pursue that are good for them and others. Nothing can be more dejecting than constant criticism or belittling comments that make one feel invaluable or unworthy of their father’s love. Instead praise your child for what they do right and encourage them as a loving father to do better in areas where they are weak or fail to live up to the standard. As fathers submit to the word of God and discipline children out of love, not anger, only then will they train the child up in the way should go.
Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” -Colossians 3:21
Legalistic, overly strict commands do not necessarily equal discipline, which is the training up of a child in instruction. It is the primary responsibility of the father, not the mother, to discipline the child as the leader of the family. Discipline includes correction and verbal instruction by relying upon biblical principles in the word of God. In this upbringing, fathers should seek to embrace the opportunity to lead and impact their child’s life because it will leave an impression that will last for eternity.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6
“Fathers …bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” -Ephesians 6:4
Lastly, the most important aspect of fatherhood that encompasses all of the rest is love. A father’s love must be sacrificial, sanctifying, and selfless. When it comes to sacrifice, fathers should see the needs of their child as all-important and seek, by whatever means possible, to meet those needs. Sanctifying love is the service and care for your child’s spiritual well-being. If you truly love your child, you will seek to spend time with them in deep discussion, prayer, and the study of God’s word. And selfless love is the putting on the desires and wants of another. So for example, if you come home from a long day of work and your child eagerly awaits you, then spend some quality time with them. Seek to be an active participant, not just a spectator, in their life and do all that you can to show them the love of God.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-7
A FINAL WORD
Fathers and father figures, you are instruments of God so do not take lightly your grand responsibility but embrace the wonderful opportunity to lead, love, and serve those around you whether they be your biological children or not. We honor you as men of great courage who lead in committed marriages, homes, churches, and organizations of various kinds. Even in your shortcomings continue to make great strides to encourage, instruct, and build up those around you in faith. Even if you are not yet a father and desire to be one in the future, then begin now to strive to be the kind of man described to those whom God has placed around you. Happy Father’s Day!