It has been a minute since I got into writing but that is another story for another day. In my last post a few months ago, I talked about a role model in a rather obscure character: King David’s mother. In my more recent bible readings, I came across a scripture that exemplifies the role of fathers in the lives of their children. In the past few days, a rather dear friend has been blessed with his firstborn son and so this is dedicated to him and to all the great fathers I know.
For 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 NIV
Fathers are admonished to encourage their children- to celebrate them and be their #1 fan. It is a child’s blessing to have a father that encourages him/ her to reach his/ her potential and is so proud of his child he wants to shout it off the mountain tops. Society is rife with absentee fathers- men who do not take any responsibility for the physical, psychological, spiritual, emotional and financial well being of their children. However, God admonishes fathers not to exasperate their children by the way they treat them lest they become discouraged (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21).
A father’s role is to provide comfort and be a source of comfort for his children. Fathers are pillars of safety for their children- in all spheres of life. Fathers need to create an atmosphere where their children are not afraid of them but rather respect and reverence them (Hebrews 12:9). The words that come out of a father’s mouth and the actions that he portrays should bring comfort to a child and not fear. Society deems women to be relatively more nurturing than men and with the ideology of nurturing comes comfort. However, God’s standard for fathers is that they too ought to be a source of comfort for their kids.
I spoke earlier about dads encouraging their children to reach their fullest potential and there is no greater goal on earth than the goal of living a life that is worthy of an eternal calling (Ephesians 4:1-3). A very significant role God has entrusted to fathers as the spiritual head of their households is to be examples of godly living and to chart the path for their children to follow. Fathers are to set the standards of holy living for their children and to charge their kids to live holy lives. This is the greatest reward of fatherhood: that the travails of a father results in Christ being formed in their children (Galatians 4:19).
So today I leave you with this… are you role modelling godly fatherhood? Are you a source of encouragement, comfort and a beacon of godliness for your children, biological or otherwise?