fatherhood: bringing stability to the family unit

Fatherhood brings stability to the family home and can demonstrate a strong example of leadership to every member of the family.  

Although mothers have their place in the home and we do appreciate all they contribute to the family unit; but, at times we unwittingly forget or neglect the importance our dads carry into the home as well.

In the course of interviewing men of different ages, cultures, and backgrounds, I asked a few questions about fatherhood. One question I proposed was, "What do you think is your most important role in being a father?"  A few of their responses were:

  1. Being the head and leader of the home and family unit.
  2. Providing the finances for all the expenses of living:(food, home, transportation, children's education and health expenses, giving the wife all that she needs/wants, etc.)
  3. Protecting the home front from various dangers, And,
  4. Demonstrating integrity by having good character and instilling core values in his children. 

Another question I asked was, "What feelings and emotions do you have in being a dad?" They answered:

  1. Being honored and respected as a father was highly important to them, and when they do not get it, they feel angry, useless, depressed, and unimportant to their children.
  2. Some of them said they did not want to be or act like their fathers were to them, and therefore are trying to change themselves into being better dads to their own children.
  3. Many felt proud to be a dad and to be able to speak and brag of their children's accomplishments to other dads of friends/family in their lives.
  4. Many dads feel the continual pressure of teaching their young children the important things in life before leaving the nest (leaving the home for college or marriage). And,
  5.  Most of the dads saw their children as an extension of themselves and hoped to protect them from outside dangers the world can pose to them.

a biblical view of fatherhood

As believing men in Christ, fathers are given thorough instruction from the Word of God on the important roles of fatherhood and the effects they have on their families; how to behave as dads, how to treat their children, and how they are to lead their children in the ways of righteousness. Here are a few vital passages of scripture that allude to this subject:

  • Proverbs 22:6 instructs us to, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
  • Proverbs 13:22 tells us, "A good man leaveth an inheritance to hi children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just."
  • Proverbs 13:24 says, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."
  • Colossians 3:21 also says, "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged."
  • Proverbs 19:18 says, "Chasen thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying."
  • Proverbs 10:1 also says, "The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother."
  • Proverbs 3:11-12 says, "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction: For whom the Lord loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth."
  • Genesis 18:18-19 gives another example of fatherhood, "Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgement; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him."
  • Proverbs 20:7 also says, "The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him."
  • Ephesians 6:4 says, "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
  • Psalm 103:13 states, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him."
  • Hebrews 12:5-13 instructs regarding fatherhood, "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, 'My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him. For whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be unto the subjection of the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed."
  • Proverbs 4:1-10 declares to us, "Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also and said unto me, 'Let thine heart retain My words: keep My commandments and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of My mouth. Forsake her not and she shall preserve thee: love her and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thy head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory she shall deliver to thee. Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many."
  • 3 John 1:4 declares something great about fatherhood when he says , "I have no greater joy than to hear that My children walk in truth."
  • Proverbs 14:26 says, "In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge."
  • Deuteronomy 6:1-7 also regards fatherhood in these important terms, "Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land wither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." And then finally, a very encouraging verse of scripture exemplifying fatherhood is in:
  • Psalm 127:3-5 which declares that, "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

Being a dad is so much more than just "fathering" a child biologically. It is a state of being as a man, and of having the proud sense of honor and responsibility towards those that God has put under your wing to lead, protect, and provide for.

As you can see throughout scripture the roles of a father are so important in the lives of his children and in all of family life. The happiness it can bring him is without measure, but the affects and consequences of fatherhood while living godly in the face of his children has long-term and long lasting benefits.

Fatherhood in and of itself is a ministry, which brings about sharing God's love and blessings from his life to those whom he would lead within his own household. Furthermore, it will give him even more empowerment and further purpose as a man of God as He uses him in raising up sons and daughters to be good citizens here on earth and in the kingdom of God. 

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Childhood And Adolescence: Times Of Learning And Growing

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