A Distinguished Dad
This past week we honored fathers across this country. We took time to recognize the role they play in our lives and expressed appreciation for the mark they have left on us as their kids.
When I first became a father in May of 2015, one of the first feelings I had was a different kind of love that I could not explain for my son. It was overwhelming. It felt like a flood of emotion that I had no control over. I cried uncontrollably out of the happiness I felt. These feelings pointed me to my heavenly father. “This must be how God feels towards us.” I thought.
I have never forgotten those feelings. And that moment also caused me to feel the weight of fatherhood. We as fathers are to point our children to our heavenly father. Even in times when they mess up, it should not cause us to withhold our love for them but to reaffirm our love for them pointing to God’s everlasting love for us.
In the rest of this post, I want to bring you 3 Biblical principles showing some qualities that dads should possess. This is not an extensive list. There is a lot that goes into being a good father, but it would take a book and not a blog post. So I have narrowed it down to three so your brain doesn’t explode.
A Dad Is To Bless His Children
We see in Genesis 27, Isaac makes an effort to bless his elder son, Esau. Jacob, Isaac’s second son ends up deceiving his father and steals the blessing for himself. The point I want to focus on though is that Isaac wanted to pass “the blessing” onto his son.
The Old Testament idea of blessing is very foreign to us. So how is this idea of passing the blessing translated to our culture today?
Usually on his deathbed the patriarch would call his oldest son to encourage him to ask that God would bless his future. It was this idea of passing the torch and encouraging the next generation. The word used in Genesis 27:4 literally means “kneel down”, “celebrate”, or “praise”. So the idea is to encourage the next generation. In the blessing that Isaac gives to his son, he encourages him about his future and how God is going to work in his life in the years to come.
This is an act that all fathers need to give to their children whether they are the firstborn or not. We should desire a bright future for them.
During the last days of King David in 1st Kings 1:37, he tells the people that his desire for Solomon is that his kingdom will be greater than the one that David himself established. This later became more of a formal blessing that fathers gave to their children.
You do not have to be on your deathbed to encourage your children. Make it a habit. Children are being corrected all the time, especially during those younger years. How refreshing it must be to them to hear encouragement instead of another, “Here’s what you did wrong speech.”
Take the time to encourage them.
Dads are to be the Spiritual Example
In Genesis 31, Jacob is telling his wife how the “God of his father has been with him.” Jacob’s faith in God is growing at this point in his life. This faith though has been imprinted on him by his father. His father has passed it down to him. Jacob saw God work in his father’s life through his father’s testimony and now he has seen God’s hand in his own life.
When your kids are in awe of an animal, this is an opportunity for you as a dad to come alongside your kids and say isn’t it neat that God made them this way?
This is not a natural tendency for us, Not because we know that God created the animals and the trees, but because we forget about God in that moment. As dad’s it is vital that we point to God in the seemingly small issues and the large ones.
My kids know that I need to read my Bible before I can come play, if I haven’t been in the Word that day. They need to see that your faith is a priority to you. Leave that imprint on them in what you say and what you do.
Dad’s Are To Teach Their Children Respect
This principle is not about how to discipline your kids, although discipline does teach respect. This is more about the relationship between a dad and his parents.
Joseph, in Genesis 47, is second in power in the whole land of Egypt. There is a famine, but but Joseph in his wisdom, has prepared for this event and stored away some food.
After the event where Joseph’s relationship with his brothers is restored, he invites them to move to Egypt so that he can see his father and also take care of him in his elderly state.
Why is this event important?
The message that Joseph sends to his kids is that it is important to honor those who have gone before you. It shows them respect. It shows them that parents are important.
Remember... How you treat your parents is how your kids are going to treat you one day. Respect the position they hold in your life and all they went through to get you to the point where you are today.
Your kids are watching. They see way more than we give them credit for. Make your actions count.
This whole blog can be summed up in this one sentence: Dads need to be active in the lives of their children.
Are you an active dad? Are you mindfully molding your children through your words and actions?
Start setting yourself apart from other dads. Because a time will come when you are no longer the main guiding influence in their life. Who is the guiding influence they will turn to? God? Or the World?