If sociologists are making any great claims today it is that we are living in a fatherless society. Factors: great increase in teen pregnancy, divorce, our mobile society, and abandonment. Laws have been enacted to try to protect children. While a lot of people have wonderful memories of fathers who loved them, many people do not have memories at all like that.
What's a father supposed to be like anyhow? There are many kinds of fathers: the rough gruff tough guys who love their kids, but maybe aren't as tender with them. The quiet, thoughtful, nice guys who love their kids and say it often.
No matter your temperament, life perspective, or your own family background, there are some qualities that every father should have.
God is our Father. Psalm 68:5 "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." Jesus taught to pray, "Our Father". 15 times in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught us about our Father. If I wanted to know what a real father was like, I could learn how from God! What is a Godly father?
1. A GODLY FATHER IS A COMPASSIONATE FATHER.
Psalm 103:13-14 "As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust."
Aren't you glad that God remembers that we are dust? Compassion is care and concern for the other person, in regard to their situation in life. God is a compassionate God. (2 Cor 1:1-4)
One of the roles of fatherhood for us is to be compassionate fathers. We remember what our children are - young, immature, learning, in need of our nurture. We give attention to their training. Ephesians 6:4 "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Many children have been lost to the Lord because their fathers were unconcerned about their spiritual well being.
Comfort them in times of trouble.
2. A GODLY FATHER INSPIRES LOVE, NOT FEAR.
Although we are to fear God, we should not fear him so as to be afraid. Romans 8:15-17 -read. This is the "Abba" relationship - God is our close / loving Father. We share everything that Christ does in terms of inheritance. That should make us feel loved and accepted by God.
Galatians 4:6-7 "Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.' So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir."
James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
In the same way, Fathers, we need to be men who inspire love in our children, and not fear.
Child abuse in our country is startling. Many children are living their lives in stark fear of their fathers and other adults in their lives.
Discipline is not child abuse...and because it is given in love, it is not a source of fear. Though not pleasant, disciple that is explained, carried out fairly, and with the assurances of love is what God would have us to do.
Fathers can inspire love in their children by:
-Assuring them verbally of their love for them.
-Spending time with them.
-Being a good husband to the child's mother.
The model of Fatherhood is our own spiritual Father, God. He shows us in at least two ways how to be a godly father: By compassion, and by inspiring love in our children.
God has always wanted to be your Father - though many of his children have turned away from Him.
2 Corinthians 6:18 "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
1 John 3:1-2 "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."
Is today your day to acknowledge God as Father and let him cleanse your soul and help you to begin a new life? He can, you know. Believe in Him.
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