I did not have the privilege of growing up in a home with a godly father. I resolved though, to be a godly father to my children, to provide for them what I did not receive from my father. God has given me the opportunity to be a father for twenty-one years, to three adorable children.
My best teachers are my children. The more I listen to them the greater my impact as a godly father. At least, so I think. Some of them were brave enough to call me out when I misspoke or made missteps.Their voices still ring in my ears like the voice of God. My other teacher is my wife, who with patience hesitates not to sound the siren.
I would say that one of the best starts in being a godly father is to marry a godly woman. Partnering with someone who shares the passion of your faith lays the foundation for a happy family and godly home. So, for our young men who are contemplating a godly role in their home, pray for a godly spouse. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22, NKJV). And of course, be a godly man yourself!
A godly father sets the spiritual tone and temperature in the home. This comes about with leading your family as the priest of the home (Colossians 3:18-19) in morning and evening worships, welcoming and closing the sabbath, and prayer and thanksgiving at the dinner table. Remember a family that prays together, eats together, and plays together, stays together. Give it a try if you have not done so already.
A godly father leads by example. It seems to me that lessons are more caught than taught. If you want your children to grow up to be helpful in the home, then you must be helpful in the home. What do I mean? If you want them to make up their beds and clean their rooms, then you must lead by example. If you want them to wash the dishes and do the laundry, then you must lead by example. If you want them to cook and eat healthy, then you must lead by example. If you want them to go to bed “on time”, then you must lead by example. If you want them to pray, read, lead, and feed the hungry, then you must lead my example. Their curious eyes are watching your every move and someday they may declare you their hero. E.G. White reminds us, “The father is to stand at the head of his family, not as an overgrown, undisciplined boy, but as a man with manly character and with his passion controlled” (The Adventist Home, p. 213).
A godly father loves their mother. I would postulate that your children learn to love and honor you the way you love and honor their mother. In other words, they are watching how you model love to their mother so that they can emulate you and reciprocate to you. Some simple things to practice are kind and encouraging words, humor and laugher, hugs and kisses. Again, White recommends, “Kind, cheerful, and encouraging words will prove more effective than the most healing medicines” (The Adventist Home, p. 217).
So, in summary, here are the six points I made above:
- You could be a godly father even if you yourself have not had a godly father;
- Marry a godly woman. If you have not, remember God is still saving souls, so be a good witness;
- Listen and learn from your children;
- A godly father sets the spiritual tone and temperature in the home;
- A godly father leads by example;
- A godly fathers loves their mother.
Happy Father’s Day!