Greeting Church Family and Friends,
Let me begin by saying “HAPPY FATHER’s DAY!” This year is rolling by fast. I can hardly imagine that it is Father’s Day already. I hope each of you will take some time to recognize your father if he is still living and remember him if he is already passed. I had a great and godly father for whom I am very thankful. I love him and miss him as I know many of you do with your fathers.
Have you ever really thought about the attributes and Characteristics of a good and godly father? I would like to just share a few with you in this Pastor’s Pen.
If there’s anything in shortage today it is real fathers that take responsibility for their actions and take care of the financial, spiritual, emotional well being of their homes. Real fathers serve God; real fathers are men of action; real fathers prepare their children for adulthood; real fathers take responsibility, and real fathers are reliable.
If I may take the letters of FATHER and use them as a tool to help us remember I would like to point out some key attributes of a good and godly father.
“F”– Good and Godly Fathers are Faithful
Good and godly fathers are faithful people. They are first faithful to God and trust God with their whole heart, soul, and mind. These men believe in God’s promises, that God will preserve their families, and that our good Lord will provide their families everything needed for salvation.
Good and godly fathers accept their role as the spiritual head of the household and set the tone for family worship. Good and godly fathers know God’s word; they have an active prayer life, attend church regularly with their families, and obey God’s commandments.
The Bible lifts up the examples of several faithful fathers: Joseph – Jesus’ earthly father was faithful because he trusted the angel when he learned that his fiancé, the Virgin Mary was going to give birth to Jesus. He also faithfully moved his family to Egypt when the angel warned him in a dream.
Abraham faithfully believed in God’s promise that his wife Sarah would bear a son at over ninety years of age and he would be the father of a great nation.
“A” stands for Action – Good and godly Fathers are People of Action
Most dads like to watch their sports on television; some have a few hobbies, and engage in some “down time” to relax. Despite occasional laziness, good and godly fathers are men of action, especially when their families need them. Good and godly fathers just don’t sit there, they spring into action when: The toilets overflow, the garbage disposal breaks, or when something important around the house that needs fixing. Good and godly dads know how to get things done; they solve problems, and always rise to the occasion.
Good and godly fathers also instill a good work ethic in their children and teach by example. Children need to see hardworking fathers and good and godly fathers challenge their children to learn through activity. Good and godly fathers watch over their children and give them the spaces they need to try new things learn from the mistakes they make. Good and godly fathers are active and engaged parents.
“T” stands for Teacher – Good and godly Fathers are Teachers
Good and godly fathers are teachers and prepare their children to enter adulthood and face the tough world around them. This means that fathers give their children survival skills that will help transform them into successful adults. Unfortunately, most children do not listen to the advice of their fathers. In order to be good teachers, fathers must be credible and earn their children’s trust and love.
Ephesians 6:4 states: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Here Paul is cautioning fathers not to criticize their children, but instead focus on teaching them with the same love and understanding that our Lord used when teaching the disciples.
“H” stands for Hope – Good and godly Fathers offer Hope to their Families
Good and godly fathers are a source of hope and inspiration for their families. Dads are the family’s pillar of strength and they are the ones that tell us that things will be all right when tough times are around the corner. Even though dads complain, good and godly fathers are optimistic and resilient because they trust God.
Good and godly fathers also trust their children and constantly encourage them to pursue their passions, fulfill their dreams, and plan for their future. Clare Boothe Luce once said, “Where there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present.” In contrast, good and godly fathers are as the Father found in the Parable of the Prodigal Son; good and godly fathers are forever hopeful and inspire their families to push beyond themselves.
“E” stands for Example – Good and godly Fathers are a positive Example
Good and godly impressions are important and good and godly fathers are positive role models to their families. Children tend to imitate and adopt their parent’s behaviors; therefore, fathers must be good and godly husbands, live moral lives, and treat all people with respect and dignity.
As the home’s spiritual leader, good and godly fathers take an active part in their children’s spiritual development. While mothers spend more time with the children in a traditional home, the importance of the father’s role cannot be underestimated and Paul’s advice to the Corinthian Church holds true in I Corinthians 11:1.”Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” The most important example that father can make to his children is to love others.
Finally, the “R” stands for Reliable – Good and godly Fathers are Reliable
Good and godly fathers are reliable, responsible, and consistent. They work hard to “bring home the bacon” and provide for their family’s needs. Good and godly fathers are also helpful in times of crisis.
Sadly, many men today are not consistent in their fatherly duties and neglect to see the importance of their role as a father themselves. Fathers need to be reinstated to the level of importance that God intended for them! American morality and spiritual integrity is at an all time low because of the declining value placed on the role of the father in today’s society.
Children need attentive and reliable fathers to be their role models. Newspaper columnist Abigail Van Buren wrote, “If you want your children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.” Responsibility isn’t a curse, it’s a blessing. Booker T. Washington said, “Few things help an individual more that to place responsibility upon him and to let him know that you trust him.”
Yet, in order for children to grow up into responsible adults they need a stable and reliable role models. Good and godly fathers are consistent in how they meet life’s challenges. Irresponsible people run away from problems, unreliable fathers make excuses for their inconsistent conduct, and never lead a life of integrity. Good and godly fathers are of proven character, they are faithful to their calling, and are reliable to those that need them.
A father’s influence is paramount to a child’s development into a happy, well-adjusted, productive adult. Fatherhood is not motherhood; however, it is an active rather than passive activity. Good and godly fathers are involved in their children’s lives looks out for their best interests. Dads have to make hard choices and realize that popular decisions are not always the best decisions. Good and godly fathers are able discern and develop their children’s hearts, souls, and minds.
I also like what Lonnie Wilkey, editor of our Tennessee Baptist Reflector said in his column this week. There are three essentials for being a godly dad. “1. Marry a great mother; 2. Pray, Pray, Pray; and 3. Turn it over to God.”
Until next week, Love and prayers,