June 15, 2014.
“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Since today is Father’s Day, I thought it was only fitting to talk about the importance of fathers when it comes to the family and the spiritual leadership they should provide. Indeed, many of the problems that arise among children and young adults stem from either not having a father in their childhood or having a bad father figure shown to them. The family was designed by God to work cohesively. When we change the pattern, things start to go awry. I chose to start out with the opening verse because I believe it shows a great example of what a leader of the family should look like. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” There is so much resolve in that statement. One day when the time comes, I hope to emulate Joshua in this.
So how important are fathers? There are a few passages that deal with fathers specifically, but usually it is in the context of parenting in general. Children need both father and mother to bring them up properly. I’m not saying that you can’t raise a child very well if you are a single parent, I’m just saying it will be a lot harder and it is not the ideal plan laid out by God. Unfortunately, sometimes it can’t be avoided, and my heart breaks for those single parents (and stands in awe when they pick up the slack and carry right on through). This is what Paul says to the church at Ephesus:
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” this is the first commandment with a promise, “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Here is an admonition to fathers to be the spiritual leader of the family, bringing their children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. I don’t think I can stress the importance here enough. When selecting elders to lead the church, this is one of the qualifications:
“He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”
(1 Timothy 3:4-5)
Managing the household well seems to be an important thing to God. Listen to the proverb:
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Now, proverbs are general rules and not necessarily guarantees. However, they are true and we can base our guidelines off of them. Sometimes we see children who seem to go off the deep end and their parents have no clue as to why. I might suggest that we examine whether the parents encouraged a healthy Christian relationship by living out what they believe or if they just told their children what to do. The Christian lifestyle is not one that is simply taught. It is one that must be lived. However, even when parents do everything right, their children could still leave the faith. I do not believe this is the parents fault. Everyone has free will.
Regardless, father’s play a vital role in the family. Women, when you are looking for a good man to spend the rest of your life with, may I suggest you take their dedication to the Lord and weigh it heavily in your decision (that goes for guys looking for a good woman as well). This is crucial to a Christian family. Unfortunately, it seems we are loosing men of faith as we speak. I hope I am wrong. I challenge any man reading this post to keep with their walk and encourage others to do the same. May we all go home to glory.
Suggested Daily Reading: Joshua 24, Proverbs 22, Ephesians 6, I Timothy 3.
Grace and peace.