What we appreciate about our dads
The Bible speaks highly of fathers. In the book of Proverbs, all 26 references to father’s paint them in a positive light.
Roles in the home
14 House and wealth are inherited from fathers,
but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
Consider the long hours a father spends grinding out a living, perhaps at a job he doesn’t enjoy. Consider the pounding headaches caused by demanding bosses, dreary traveling, stress, and sore muscles. For what? A paycheck that disappears as soon as he brings it home. Because of the sacrifices, though, the family has a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear, and maybe a little money left over for fun. And if he is a good planner, even his grandchildren will reap the benefits of his labor through an inheritance.
28 Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set.
This verse refers to the Hebrew practice of marking property lines that subsequent generations were to respect.
In those days, the father’s job was to maintain the boundaries that bordered his family’s land. Today’s fathers, rather than building walls of stone, establish boundaries of morality and integrity. They set the limits on acceptable behavior.
Young people tend to push against those limits, yet they feel secure when their fathers keep the boundaries intact. Kids search for role models who stand by what they believe. There is no hero your child wants more than you, Dad. This does not mean you have to be perfect, No; if you can say, “I’m sorry; I was wrong” your children will forgive you and respect you for being honest.
8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
9 for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.
4 Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
and be attentive, that you may gain[a] insight,
2 for I give you good precepts;
do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a son with my father,
tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
4 he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
keep my commandments, and live.
5 Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
20 My son, keep your father’s commandment,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them on your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they[a] will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
As a teenager, you probably rolled your eyes when dad started another one of his lectures. Later, when you were on your own, his corny sayings suddenly became pearls of wisdom, and his compliments that used to embarrass you in front of your friends became coveted encouragements. His advice about choosing the right friends, keeping your word, and doing your best really came in handy, didn’t it? Maybe your father even helped you relate to the opposite sex and warn you about the dangers of immorality.
23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
These are not easy words to give or receive, but in them is life. And for these words, we say, “Thank’s Dad”.
The other side of the father’s role as instructor is his role as forgiver. The act of forgiveness is like hanging an ornament of grace around your children’s neck and is a vital aspect of father. Without it, anger can begin to boil inside a child’s heart. Paul warns:
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Six ways fathers can provoke their children to anger: (William Hendricksen)
- Failure to make allowance for the child’s individuality, opinions, and growth
- Bitter words and outright physical cruelty.
A more constructive course of action, according to Paul, is to
- Nourish your children – which is the literal meaning of the Greek word translated “bring them up”.
- Discipline means “education” in its broader sense, and it includes the ideas of chastening and correcting (see Hebrews 12:5-11).
- Instruction emphasizes “training by means of the spoken word, whether that word be teaching, warning, or encouragement”.( Hendricksen, exposition of Ephesians, p. 262.)
The result of spending time with your kids imparts wisdom naturally upon them as each situation unfolds instead of fist-waving lectures.
With the mother of their children
The greatest gift a father gives his children is his affection for the mother.
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
16 Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated[a] always in her love.
Fathers, don’t be afraid to demonstrate your feelings for your wife in front of the children. They will love you both all the more.
With the children of their wife
The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. (Proverbs 23:24)
Dads can reap a harvest of joy in their homes if they cultivate wisdom in their children. And that requires a father to get close to his children – so close, that his character qualities rub off on them, which is a father’s greatest cause for rejoicing.
One more way to invest in your child: Integrity
The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him. (Proverbs 20: 7)
Bruce Lockerbie, in Fatherlove, gives us a picture of the blessing of father can leave behind.
When I was just 11 years old, our family drove from Toronto to East Ontario, to the region north of the St. Lawrence River, where my father had been born. We reached the little villages of Ventnor and Spencerville just before midnight; the residents had long since gone to bed. But Dad needed directions to find the old homestead, where we were to spend the night. Reluctantly he stopped at a darkened house and knocked on the door. After several minutes of waiting, the yard light came on, and an older man opened the door. I could hear my father apologizing for the inconvenience; then he identified himself as the son of Pearson Lockerbie – my grandfather dead for more than a score of years.
“Come in, come in, ” said the man. “No trouble at all. We knew your father.”
That’s the greatest legacy a man can leave his son. (Bruce Lockerbie, Fatherlove)
Will those who know you and outlive you be quick to open their homes to your children? Are you cultivating that kind of legacy?
Source of this content was derived from Building Blocks of Biblical Character Chapter 9