Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Word to Fathers

Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways … Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. (Psalm 128:1,4 ESV)

The Lord has promised blessing to the man who fears Him. Scripture is clear that the entire family is impacted when the head of the home and family fears the Lord! As a father I should be the kind of parent who helps my children tremble with joy in the presence of God.

Fathers are encouraged to be the kind of father their children delight to fear or to respect, helping them know the Lord. Take your place as God’s special representative in your family, and display the fullness of who God is, so that your children will delight to fear you.

If they only fear you, and there is no delight in it, it’s wrong and dysfunctional. If they only delight in you and do not fear you, it’s wrong and dysfunctional. In both cases you have made it very difficult for your children to embrace the true God. On the one hand, as fathers, we hear Proverbs 13:24, “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Why? Because that’s the way God is. Hebrews 12:6 tells us, “The Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.” So when I discipline my child, I display God’s judgment and His love.

But on the other hand, as fathers, we hear this word from Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” In our families we are in the place of the Lord. We are doing the discipline of the Lord. Our children are learning what the Lord is like. And what is He like? Psalm 103:13-14 assures us that, “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.”

T. P. Hadley

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