What the Heavenly Father Says about Fatherhood
By: Dr. Dillon Burroughs | © 2019
God is our perfect heavenly Father. His wisdom regarding fatherhood offer tremendous help for today’s fathers. Scripture offers four clear ways fathers impact the lives of their children.
Wisdom: A Godly Father Instructs
Scripture offers much information regarding the role a father provides in giving wisdom to his children. Proverbs 1:8 notes, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction.” Proverbs 4:1 adds, “Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.” Instruction helps a child know God’s way and protect from harm.
Ephesians 6:14 offers another aspect of instruction. Wisdom serves as the contrast to exasperating our children: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” A father seeks to point a child to the Lord’s wisdom, not his own. Only through godly wisdom will a child know the truth and be able to live it.
Provision: A Godly Father Provides
Jesus noted, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11). As fallen, imperfect people, fathers still know how to provide what is positive and beneficial for their children.
However, provision includes more than just money. Children need the stability of a home, food, clothing, and education. However, they also require the provision of a father and mother who support one another and their children. Provision includes both the essentials of life and the essentials of love that models the relationship between God the Father and God the Son.
Correction: A Godly Father Disciplines
No one enjoys discipline at the time, yet it is an essential part of nurturing children. Proverbs 3:12 observes, “The Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Hebrews 12:6 adds, “The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
Unfortunately, fathers tend to either neglect discipline of their children or to be too harsh in their discipline. By learning from the discipline of God the Father, fathers can discover a beneficial balance between neglect and exasperation. The goal is to provide assistance for life while helping children excel in living.
Attention: A Godly Father Loves
Psalm 103:13 poetically shares, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.” A father naturally shows love and compassion for his children. His children are an extension of him. Fathers may not love perfectly, but are called to love faithfully, abundantly, and in the strength God provides.
No earthly father is perfect. However, with dependence upon God the Father, we find insight for living in ways that help our children love the Lord and love others. Share this with a father you know today!
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Dr. Dillon Burroughs
Dillon Burroughs serves as senior writer at The John Ankerberg Show and has written nearly 40 books on issues of faith and culture. He is also an associate editor for The Apologetics Bible for Students and has contributed to many works on apologetics and Christian worldview. Dillon is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and holds a PhD in Leadership from Piedmont International University. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his wife, Deborah, and their three children.