Fathers: What kind of leadership are they to provide?
Yes, the father is the head of every home regardless of what the “politically correct” crowd thinks about it. It is God, our Creator who decided our roles, not any person or society. Our opinions don’t matter on such things. There’s the divine order of things provided in the Bible whether people like it or not. God never asked for our opinion, nor does He need it.
The role of every father is an important one and should be treated as such, regardless of how abused the position is by so many. Every man who becomes a father should give his best effort to fulfill the principle of being a godly father. It is because so many have not done so that things are as they are today. In every generation there’s a tremendous need for men to fill the role of being great fathers. God has graciously provided us with the Bible to give us perfect instructions to make this possible.
The book of Proverbs has many addresses you’d expect from a godly father to his son. Hence, it provides for us some marvelous examples of the things godly fathers promote. These statements were made by King David, King Solomon, and even King Solomon’s mother. We should all sit up and take notes on all their comments. Here are some examples.
Proverbs 1:8, 10, 15
8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: [Emphasis added]
It is important to realize that the “my son” address has as much application to daughters as it does to sons.
1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. [Emphasis added]
Clearly this is all about what should be every father’s highest priority—becoming and then being a godly person.
1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. [Emphasis added]
It has been concluded by some that the way Proverbs is written seems to indicate that these were Solomon’s notes. They are like notes taken in a classroom where one principle is jotted down at a time but the thoughts aren’t always related. But we have many that tell us fathers should take the time to teach their children sound doctrine. It seems that mothers are especially gifted for this in a child’s younger years and fathers more so in their teen years. But all through a child’s years both parents are to be major players in developing their children’s understanding of God’s Word. All parents are to see the instruction of God’s Word as their main responsibility in the upbringing of their children. Children surely need feeding, but most of all they need the feeding of God’s Word.
Proverbs 4:10-11, 20-22
10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. [Emphasis added]
1 My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:
2 That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. [Emphasis added]
20 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.
23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: [Emphasis added]
1 My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.
2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. [Emphasis added]
All this is telling us that we should use every training tool possible to instill the principles of God’s Word in our children. There’s nothing more important that we’ll ever provide for them. Nothing! By your faithfulness in this as a father or mother, the principles you put forth will eventually take root. We are given that assurance. Even in the case of Solomon, he wasted most of his years. He’s a case study for so-called “midlife crisis.” For many years he lived completely contrary to the teaching he’d been given as a child. Then, in his old age, when he finally came to his senses and returned to the principles he’d been taught, God commissioned him to write about all his years of foolish thinking. You’ll find the record of that in his own words written in what we speak of as the book of Ecclesiastes. It is there that we find Solomon’s personal testimony about his many years of foolishness. Solomon is also an example of the fulfillment of a very encouraging promise for parents who are dealing with seemingly incorrigible children.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. [Emphasis added]
Just bear in mind that twenty isn’t old and neither is fifty. I felt like I was in my prime when I was over sixty, still able to run over two miles non-stop every day when I was seventy. Of course, a person can come to their end much earlier for a multitude of reasons. But the point is we’re not to ever give up on our children. Our focus needs to be on the things we can control and not those things over which we have no control. Our focus must always be on being a positive influencer and a fabulous example of what it means to be a mature believer and a godly parent.
In the case of Solomon, all fathers and others should take note of what we know to be some of his last words.
Ecclesiastes 12:1, 13
1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. [Emphasis added]
The first and most important command for a man to obey to move in this direction with things is found in the writings of Luke.
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, [Emphasis added]
And what specifically must one believe about Him?
II Corinthians 5:19-21
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added]
The good news [the gospel] one must believe to be saved has been set forth plainly.
I Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel [the good news] which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [Emphasis added]
If you’ll put your faith in this which He did for you, you’ll be saved immediately and forever. There’s no better nor more important decision than this in all of life, so do it now. If you will, or you have already, I highly encourage you to pass this same information on to your children and grandchildren. By doing so you’ll be providing the best of all leadership that’s needed of a father—spiritual leadership. You’ll even be setting a great example for other fathers to follow.