Our Heavenly Father wants to father through you! How can he do that if you are not ready to be the channel of His love, grace, and mercy? How can you disciple your little ones with the truth if you yourself haven’t been set free by it? John 8:32
If you’re a man and married you’re a leader—the spiritual leader of your family. You have the God-given responsibility to lead on your knees those to whom God has entrusted to you and will someday hold you accountable for. Will you be ready?
Here are some biblical mandates for becoming a faithful and fruitful father using the acronym F.A.T.H.E.R.S.
First, love the Lord your God – Be thankful.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deut 6:6
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100: 4-5
When God the Father spoke to God the Son from heaven a few times He said “This is my beloved son in whom I am well-pleased.” Mat. 3:17
So God the almighty Father shows us right from the beginning how important love and respect is in life as He demonstrates this in one sentence. Do you love and respect Him will all your heart? How about your soul? To love the Lord your God with your soul primarily means that you will make the right choices, follow through with the right choices and then walk humbly with your God in the fear of the Lord.
Agape your Wife
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Eph 5:25-27
It’s easy to love those who love you. Nevertheless, Jesus says do the hard thing! “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” Mat 5:46 Do you give yourself up for your spouse on a daily basis? You say you would die for her at any time if necessary to protect her; but do you live for her with same kind of love and kindness? Jesus said, “You shall know them by their fruits.” Matt 7:16
If that isn’t enough, Jesus gives us another incentive. “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” I Pet. 3:7
Teach the Word
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deut 6:7
Your greatest ministry must be to your family. If it isn’t then you’ve got your priorities messed up! Get in the game guys! Your MVPs come from your family nowhere else. “What profit a man who gains the whole world but loses his own soul?”… [and his family] Mark 8:36
Here is an excellent resource for your family devotionals. We raised our family on these principles: Praying to God Our Father: Using 52 of His Attributes (New Edition)
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10; “The joy of the Lord shall be your strength.” Neh 8:10
Remember the golden rule of peace with your kids: Rules without a relationship = rebellion. Kids feel like a pawn in a chess game when they don’t feel liked by their parents. To kids being liked = having fun not being obedient. Parents often don’t get this. Play catch, go fishing, do a father and son get-away and this will turn your child from a prisoner /slave to a star player in his eyes. How do you spell love? T.I.M.E. Kids know whoever you spend time with you like. One student said, “I wish I were a cell phone so my parents would pay attention to me more.”
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” I Cor 6:19, 20
No time for your health today means no health for your time tomorrow. Turn your big macs into six packs guys! Get your 20-30 minutes in each day with a routine exercise. Quit running to Dunkin Donuts! Get on a bike, tread mill, or on the floor—whatever works best for you. Don’t open your ‘fridge more than you open your Bible, and you’ll be good. The secret to a good routine is frequency—everyday!
Relationships – men’s group; other groups
“not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Heb 10:25
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Prov 27:17.
Find a few friends and go through Proverbs together. Start a men’s group in your church with a Saturday morning men’s group. Jesus did. If Jesus needed it why do you think you don’t? He needed the three closest to him to pray with him in the garden. Read about it in Mark 14:33
Serve. Sacrifice. Serve.
“But if any one does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than the unbeliever. I Tim 5:8 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mat 20:26-28
At the end of your life, what do you want to be known for? Seriously? What should your kids put on your tombstone? For many men this one should be put: “Here lies a man who followed the Father of lies.” Get it? Which father are you following? The one who spent too much time in front of the mirror or God the one who didn’t just tell us that He loved us but showed us. Just do it!
Thomas T Tofilon