A father, as a parent, has an important calling in this world. When considering the calling and responsibilities of a father, one can look to the example which God has set as our Heavenly Father. In Ephesians 4:6, Paul says that there is, “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” There is no greater example to whom we can look than to God, the Father, who is above all.
One example our Heavenly Father sets is by ruling over us, His children. As ruler, He governs and directs our lives. An earthly father must follow this example by ruling his family in such a way that he controls and leads his family in the way they should walk. When he uses his authority correctly, the father will find there is order in the home.
Another example God our Father sets is that He cares for and supplies us with our needs. One who is a father must see that he provides for the cares and needs of his family as well. These provisions include both the physical and also the spiritual needs of his family.
God, our Heavenly Father, also communes with us. He listens to us when we come to Him, and He is patient with us. God talks to us in the preaching of the Word. So also, fathers are to make sure they have time to commune with their families. They must listen and talk with their families about what is happening in their lives. This takes great patience as fathers, but God will grant fathers the patience in dealing with their families.
Following the examples of God, a father must see the importance and seriousness of his calling which he must daily strive to perform. In all callings of life, a father is to teach and instruct his family in the ways of the Lord. In order for him to guide his family in this way, he himself must first know the Scriptures. Therefore, he must not be caught up in the things of this world, but rather must have time to read and study the Scriptures. Only by spending time in the Scriptures will he be able to answer the questions of his family when they come to him. He will also find strength and encouragement in his calling as he studies the Scriptures.
In today’s world, the role and calling of a father is not taken seriously, but is often shoved aside. The men and fathers of this world have no self-denial but rather seek only what pleases their own flesh. The dangers of this world often creep up and influence even our own fathers. One of these dangers is spending too much time and energy in one’s work whether it is because one’s work is busy or because one seeks to advance his status. Therefore, when the father gets home he is tired and has little, if any time at all, to spend with his family.
Another danger fathers face is being gone on vacations all the time, leaving family behind, so that they might chase after hobbies whether they be skiing, snowmobiling, hunting or fishing. Yet another danger is that one spends many nights away from his family playing in sports tournaments or going out with the guys, because he doesn’t want to grow up.
These are dangers which a father must seriously consider and take warning against lest they consume his time. If a father is too busy chasing after these things, he will have no time for his family. As a result, his family will suffer, because they aren’t being cared for or instructed as they ought to be.
When a father guides, teaches, and communes with his family as he ought, there will be great blessing. In ruling his family as he ought, there will be peace. Instructing his family, they together will grow in the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord. As he communes with his family, they will grow together in love for one another. Our fathers must pray that God might strengthen and lead them in bringing up their families. Those who are not fathers also need to pray for those who are or will soon be fathers. May they be thankful for the calling which God has given them and be comforted with God’s promise in Psalm 128:6, “Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.