Dear Dads and Friends,
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all you Dads out there! This morning at Onward Church Moshe Loewenthal from Israel will be with us for worship at 10:30am at Conner Prairie. I hope you will join us.
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows in a warrior’s hands. How happy is the man whose quiver is full of them…” (Psalm 127:3-5a).
This past week I had the joy of experiencing the rewards for fatherhood: My oldest grandchild, Haley, turned 17 (see picture). Haley fills my heart with delight as I see her loving and serving the Lord. Grandchildren are God’s reward for rearing your children. And grandchildren who love the Lord are your reward for loving the Lord, and for rearing your children to love the Lord.
“The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure it is to have wise children” (Proverbs 23:24).
Someone has quipped, “Grandchildren are your reward for letting your teenagers live.”
I saw a post this week that said, “If you raise your children, you spoil your grandkids. If you spoil your children, you raise your grandkids!”
Being a Father today is tough work. Fathers have been marginalized, ignored or castigated in our society today. No longer would the show, “Father Knows Best” make it on network TV.
GODLY FATHERS NEEDED: Our world needs godly fathers: a father who loves his Lord, loves his wife, and loves his children has more influence than you could imagine.
Here are some Biblical concepts for being a father God’s way:
1) GOAL OF BIBLICAL FATHERING: Your single most important goal as a father would be that your children will grow up to love the Lord with all their heart. Of course you want them to get a good education, excel in sports, have good friends, etc. But what will bless your children the most is if they grow up to love the Lord.
“Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union” (Malachi 2:15a).
2) MODEL FOR BIBLICAL FATHERING: The model is Christ’s selfless, sacrificial love.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
3) METHODS FOR BIBLICAL FATHERING: God’s word contains detailed instructions for fathers. Here are just a few concepts the Lord has outlined in the Bible.
“Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:17).
- a)BE AUTHENTIC: Your kids don’t need a perfect dad, just a real one. They need to see that your faith is not some add-on, or a box that you check each week, but is the genuine foundation for your life. Your children don’t care what you believe until they determine whether or not they want to be like you. That’s why it’s so important that you model a real and compelling faith.
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him” (Titus 1:6a).
“You desire truth in the innermost being” (Psalm 51:6a).
- b)BE CONSISTENT: This includes faithfulness, integrity, commitment, and presence. Years ago I heard someone say, “You’re of no value where you are not.” Your kids need to know you are worthy of their trust. They need to know you are always there for them. They need you to be always assessable. And they need you to be consistent in your discipline—gently, compassionately, and fairly applied—that they might learn to trust and obey the Lord.
“The Lord disciplines those he loves” (Hebrews 12:6a).
“God is…always ready to help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
“I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5b).
- c)BE LOVING: The faithful love of the Lord is the way we need to love as fathers. We must father with love, kindness, grace, patience, and tenderness.
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease” (Lamentations 3:22).
“God’s kindness leads you toward repentance” (Romans 2:2b).
“The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13).
On this Father’s Day what if we as Dads made a renewed commitment to be a godly father for our children?
Onward with my Father,