“Fathers . . bring [your children] up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 KJV
Godly blessing can be transferable from one generation to another.
My thoughts and comments today are about “ Godly fathering.”
Yesterday was the weekend our nation celebrates Father’s Day. Sunday began in Church with some of the family leading the worship and teaching, some beside us and others seated in front of us – multiple generations worshipping and serving together. That is a privilege Gayle and I do not take for granted. In our mobile lifestyles, the generational family together in worship is often a rarity and I think families and congregations are the poorer for that.
Out of a consumer mentality, many have made their choice of churches from individual preferences of style of service or geographical convenience, rather than a sense of spiritual placement. A generational family together in church has become a geographical possibility less commonly, and a lessening family priority too frequently, although I think there is a remarkable strength and blessing whenever worshipping and serving together is achievable.
But let me talk a little about fathers on this occasion. There are some responsibilities that should not be left to others. Godly fathering heads that list. Being a father is a privileged role; Godly fathering is a sober and holy responsibility. “Fathers . . bring [your children] up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 KJV. Important things happen best within a family, and Dad you have a vital responsibility in that. Civility and citizenship are best learned at home not school. Behavior is better taught and disciplined within a family than by society. Morality and lifestyle must be learned at home, not through popular culture and entertainment. Becoming a mature and loving adult, friend, spouse, and parent are best learned at home rather than assimilated from societal mores.
Godly fathering imparts God’s blessing. A Godly blessing is transferable from one generation to another. That is called legacy and spiritual heritage. You must have God’s blessing to bestow that in your family. After Joseph was reunited with his father and brothers, his aging father, Jacob, called for Joseph and his sons, “Bring them to me, and I will bless them.” Genesis 48:9 NKJV. Fathering is not only biological. If your dad didn’t bless you, there is a remedy. Your Heavenly Father will, and there are spiritual fathers God provides who will! Now, give that blessing to your family. Let your life bring blessing to this generation and leave Godly blessing for generations to come.
Godly fathering includes Godly instruction. Your family’s character and convictions are your responsibility. Don’t let responsibility seem complicated; view it as response-ability, your ability to respond to God and share that in your home. “Do not forget the things your eyes have seen . . teach them to your children and to their children.” Deuteronomy 4:9 NIV. Personal experience forms personal example; personal example is your authority for Godly instruction. Dad, your spiritual passion should be as the confidence and conviction those early disciples felt, “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20 NKJV. Perhaps you have seen and heard too little of eternal consequence; if so, you can and need to remedy that now.
Godly fathering involves Godly correction. Instruction without loving correction is not helpful and usually ineffective. “Be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2 NIV. Correction can feel like a full time job because it is, when done “to encourage, with patience and carefulness.” Always discipline in love, never in anger.
My prayer for you today is that you value Godly heritage and purpose to provide it.