Challenges for Fathers

W. Terry Varner
June 16, 2013

To most fathers it does not seem many years have passed since they were looking forward to the birth of their first child. You can recall the discussions over the possible names for the child, the fixing up the room, the buying of those necessary baby items, and many other small details that go with planning the birth of a child. In due time, the baby arrives and we soon we entered the role of fatherhood. The Bible gives several challenges of fatherhood, consider them with me.

A challenge to instruct our children. Solomon wrote: “My son, hear the instructions of thy father and forsake not the law of thy mother” (Prov. 1:8). Every father must have some instructions for his growing children. These instructions come from the wisdom of his age, the experiences of his life, and his knowledge of the law of God, the Bible. Solomon also says that the father greatly rejoices in a child who becomes wise. “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that beggeth a wise child shall have the joy of him.” This speaks of a child training from God’s Word.

Father’s Day normally brings gifts from the children to their fathers. That is good. Sometimes, fathers have gifts of advice to give their children. Children need to listen with all their ears and understanding when their parents warn them of danger. If a child is fortunate to have a father who points him in the right direction, he will be well-advised to follow that path of right and remain on it throughout your days. This will make you a righteous person and a wise child. The Bible states that your father will greatly rejoice in you.

A challenge of having the right prepositional phrase after your name. Abraham is described as “the father of the faithful.” He believed deeply in God’s promises. He waited almost all his life for the promise of the son, Isaac. He was 100 years old when Isaac was bom. How many of us benefit from the strength of the faith of a parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent?

What prepositional phrase will follow your name as it followed Abraham, “the father of the faithful”? Will it be “a father of all patience?” “the father of church-goers”? “a father who prays”? “a father of benevolence”? “a father of Bible study”? Or will it be on the opposite side of the ledger—“the father of all gamblers?” “the father of all lies?” “the father of the profane?”, etc. Be certain you are the right kind of father.

A challenge to have the concern of Job. Job was the father of 10 children, an excellent man, and a devoted father (Job 1:1). Righteous men like this usually make good fathers; however, there are some exceptions to the rule. Eli, one of the judges, was one of God’s chosen servants, yet Eli was a failure as a father. The same is true of the great man Samuel.

Job had great concern for his children even as they reached into adult years. Under the Patriarchal Age, he offered sacrifices for them. After their party, Job took action the day after his children’s feasting was over (Job 1:5). As parents we need to be concerned for our children and show an interest in them even after they become adults. Parents need to pray for their children when danger is present and make intercession for them.