God's Gift of Fathers
Verse 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!
Yesterday we talked about mothers and so today we talk about fathers.
Dad, daddy, papa, pop, pops. There are so many names that we call our fathers. They have a very important role in our families. They are called by God to be the leaders in our homes. They teach us whether they know it or not.
There are many fathers in the Bible. Some good, some bad. The best example is, of course, God as the Father, but there are some other good examples like Jesse, David’s dad. And a number of bad dads like Jacob, Eli, and David.
One of the good fathers in the Bible was Joseph who married Mary even though she was already expecting Jesus. Being Jesus’ earthly father must have been a daunting task. I’m sure every dad would say that being a dad is a daunting task. There is the work that goes into making sure the family is provided for. Long hours and then coming home to other things that need to be maintained. Then there is coaching the little league or soccer teams and other such activities. But above all that is the knowledge that these young beings depend on you. That can be a heavy weight to bear.
Dads play the first role of authority in our lives. They set the rules and make sure they are followed. The Bible gives one example of the struggle that fathers can have with their children. In Colossians 3:21 Paul warns the fathers there not to aggravate their children (in the Amplified version “Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or exasperate your children [with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by favoritism or indifference; treat them tenderly with lovingkindness], so they will not lose heart and become discouraged or unmotivated [with their spirits broken].”)
This isn’t to say that fathers shouldn’t discipline their children, in fact the opposite is true. They just need to be careful how they do it and for what. Just as God doesn’t punish us too harshly. Yes, the job of being a dad can be difficult but there is nothing so rewarding as when a father sees his child living in the ways of God the Father. A child will see God through the way their dad lives.
Making It Personal
What is/was your relationship like with your dad? What is something that you learned about God from your dad? What is a spiritual practice you learned from your dad?
Making It Personal Kids
How special is your dad to you? Has your dad taught you something about how Jesus wants you to live? What is something special you can do for your dad today?
Father, thank You for choosing us to be Your children. Thank You for the fathers You have given us and help us respect them. In Jesus’ name, amen.