One Father to another from the Ultimate Father

sonny kidssonny and the kids

What does the bible say about Fathers? A father is a giver of his time, talents, treasures; he is a teacher of the Word to his family, a good example of Christ to others, and a servant to the Most High. A father is instrumental in the growth of his children’s life spiritually, emotionally and physically. A father acknowledges his responsibility and commitment to his family by providing things to his family, just like our Heavenly Father provides for us. His job is to leave behind a legacy & inheritance to his children and wife. A father serves in many capacities for example we are warriors. The warriors that we are, think that most of the battles are won through hand to hand combat but most of the battles are going to be won on our knees. It is us getting on bended knee that unveils the truth as we continue to place our confidence in Him. As fathers, we must be trustworthy and truthful. Our Heavenly Father loves to spend time with His children. As fathers, we must make the time to spend with our families. It is a time we convey God’s Word to keep the family healthy and in sync. Our Heavenly Father is our source for help. (NKJV) Psalm 121 2 ‘My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth’. God has the answer! Our Heavenly Father is an encourager. God is in our corner shouting “you can do it”, “I got you covered”. Each father needs to be the greatest cheerleader for his children. We need to be the biggest encourager in our family’s lives. Rejoice in every achievement.  Our Heavenly Father is our source of strength; He is our defender in times of need. As father we need to be that source of strength to our family and a protector in times of need.  As fathers, we must always be teachable to the will of God. We should teach our children to have respect for God, womanhood, life, and morality. We are all fathers but are we godly fathers.

 

Many men desire to be good fathers, but there is a criterion that helps fathers become godly fathers. Here are four Biblical principles that, by God’s grace, will lay a sound foundation in helping fathers become godly fathers.

First, godly fathers are first godly men. It doesn’t make sense for fathers to do wrong then say to their children, “Do as I say, not as I do” (Matthew 23:3). Children must be able to see an example of Christ in their fathers. Paul says to his spiritual children in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” Those who imitate Christ in thoughts, attitudes, and actions are those who have the right and Biblical ability to properly train and disciple their own children.

Second, godly fathers love their children unconditionally. Unconditionally is the key word. It implies that love is not earned based on the potential gain that the child may receive. In other words, their focus is on themselves and upon what they can gain rather than upon unconditional love for their children. We’ve seen with child actors and most recently in the NFL. Tyron Smith a 22 year old offensive tackle recently filed a restraining order on his parents based off physical threats to himself and his girlfriend. Currently he is in his 2nd year of a 4yr, 12.5 million contract which by his parents’ standards isn’t enough. He received a text from his coach stating that he would be moved to left tackle which could generate more money on his contract. Instead of congratulations from his family they were already talking about their next purchases with this new surplus of cash. His family felt like they should live the same lifestyle as him and when he refused family members traveled from California to Dallas to beat up his girlfriend. When that was unsuccessful, his parents threatened his life. They stole over a million dollars from him so far after using the financial adviser that his parents recommended. Despite all of this, Tyron is willing to reconcile with his parents which shows that even though his parents may not love him unconditionally, he does. His many mentors have been counseling him which is in my opinion an application of Psalm 68 verse 5, ‘A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation’. Even though they aren’t his biological parents, these people are having a fatherly impact on this man in way that his parents are refusing to do.  Before I became a father, I was fathered as well. My grandfather and my father had an influential impact on my life and then when I went to college my older cousin mentored me in ways that only a father could.  It was these lessons that gave me the foundation for when I had my own kids. It’s imperative to establish a foundation with your kids where there are rules and regulations and consequences if they are not met. Because these streets have some a mystique that it can lure your child in the wrong way and once the streets gets hold of them it’s very hard to get them back…unless they have the Lord on their side. This reminds me of the story in Luke chapter 15 verses 20-24 where a father waits for the return of his son to return to him. Instead of scolding him, judging him or disowning him, he threw him a party to celebrate his return.  Godly fathers don’t make their children earn their approval, and they don’t use their children’s behavior or potential gain as a condition for their love. I challenge us men to do the same thing for these kids.

Third, godly fathers train their children how to love and honor God. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” To take it another step further Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” The issue as a father is teaching a child to love the Lord as they model their own love for Him. Always remember kids aren’t stupid. In fact, they are a lot smarter than most parents give them credit for. For example I was having a conversation with Quianna when I said something that prompted Morgan to say ‘Daddy, that’s a bad choice. Thumbs down’. My face frowned up and I said “who are you talking too, bad choice man spell it’. I didn’t think she would respond with C-H-O…go to your room. She was upset but in my mind I had to flex my authority over her even though I may have been wrong. The real lesson is that in order to be a godly father, I must model submission to authority and welcome correction if I have sinned. I know this won’t be the last time this will happen especially as my kids get older and think they know more than I do. Training requires learning the Scripture but how that Scripture is applied must correlate with true righteousness. Otherwise, the child will be left confused and may even grow resentment for the Word because they couldn’t full grasp it. But let us not forget the role of discipline in the training process. Even our heavenly father disciplines those sons whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6), and the fact that a father is willing to discipline his children demonstrates love. Young children need to know their boundaries as it makes them feel secure. For example, every child at one point has been told not to touch the stove when it’s hot but if you did then you were in trouble. As kids grow older, they must see that they don’t run the household and that Biblical principles will be followed in the home. Discipline reinforces what will happen if you decide to break these rules. But it must be evident to the children when they are being disciplined that the father’s love for them has not changed. Discipline is never aligned with wrath because it is kindness that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4). Discipline is simply another expression of love (Deuteronomy 8:1-6, Hebrews 12:6). In Proverbs 3:11–12 the father says, “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”  Before any father disciplines his children, he must spent time enjoying his children, encouraging his children, laughing with his children, being affectionate with his children so that a deep bond of love and joy can be formed between the children and their dad.

Fourth, a godly father seeks to give his children good gifts such that his children are blessed through him. Of course, love and discipline and the training of the Lord are blessings of eternal value, but godly fathers go beyond just spiritual gifts they aspires to provide good gifts to their family for their benefit and will being. If you need an example look no further than our heavenly Father.  James 1:7 says, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” Our Father is the giver of every good and perfect gift because He knows when, how, and what to give us. He knows what we desire and ask for because He knows and cares for what we really want and need. Gifts a father can pass on to their kids are: protecting them by fearing God, working hard, being a man for your kids by living righteously and creating a legacy. Protecting them by fearing God shows the ultimate respect for God and his teachings. Proverbs 14:26 says, “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. It creates confidence because man knows that if God is watching over them then everything will be ok. In today’s world our children aren’t safe and it’s up to us to use God’s teaching and our masculine physique to create a force field that will protect and create provisions over the welfare of our loved ones. For example make sure that you really trust the people that you leave your kids with. I know you may want to be at your friends’ house having fun but I rather be cautious then take the law into my own hands. I know forgiveness is between man and God but I have no problem setting that meeting up. You must be willing to go thru great lengths even sacrificing it all to maintain a safe environment. One of the most important things a father can do for their children is to be a man. Being a man by taking care of responsibility and not expecting any more praise than a thank you and continue to keep moving. Proverbs 20:7 says, “The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him!” Paul echoed these words when he said ‘when I was a boy I acted as a boy but when I became a man I let go of my childish ways’. These childish ways can have a damaging effect if not eradicated in the beginning stages. Another factor of being a man is being a hard worker. When kids see people working hard they want to imitate those actions. Watching my father work numerous jobs working all hours of the night made me realize that I was a priority even if for him he was sacrificing sleep and other things. Being able to provide for your children holds no bounds and every avenue should be taken in order to do so. God isn’t pleased by lazy men because it sends the wrong idea to kids who are very impressionable and will duplicate actions good or bad. Proverbs 26:7 reiterates this by saying “Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.” This creates hypocrisy between man and son and eventually establishes a mockery of authority as the child will grow up with the notion that because my father did it then it must be cool but in all actuality it wasn’t… It can sway them to make the wrong decisions as they get older which can have grave consequences. Creating a legacy for your kids is very important because it shows how God’s teachings have been utilized since the beginning of time and still going strong. Before my son was born, I was the last male Grayson in my family so it is my honor and duty to make him a better man than me so when he has kids they can be better than him and so on and on. Being a father is the starting point but being a godly father is the finish line? Will you meet me there?

 

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