I Samuel 8:1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba. 3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.
We are finishing up the habits of highly successful fathers. (1) He is committed to his children. To commit something to another means to entrust or hand it over to them. Spiritually, we have committed our eternal souls to the Lord. He’s taken very good care of us. In II Timothy 2:12 Paul said I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. I know I’m in good hands. God is always trustworthy. He’s the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. When you deposit money into the bank, you are entrusting them with it. In the lives of your children you make deposits. You say to them “you did good” or you go to a game. The more deposits you make, the more you can withdraw. You can correct them without friction. Otherwise, the slightest discipline will cause a problem. A lot of fathers are more concerned about their job or their friends than their children. The proper order is God, family, church. Why this way? When the family suffers, the church suffers. To be an effective father, the role is your job. To do it, you put in the time. As an employee we are to give our employers our time, not just be one who shows up doing nothing. We are to do all as unto God. Don’t model after lazy people. Commitment involves time. It’s not about the gifts–things–you give them. Give them your time.
(2) A successful father seeks to know his children. What works for one child may not work for another. There are different temperaments and personalities. In the instance of Cain and Abel, one turned out well, the other a murderer. Psalms 51:5 says Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Remember children were born into sin. You don’t learn how to be a sinner; you are one. If left totally to him or herself, a child will do wrong. We need the Holy Spirit in our lives because our nature will take us the wrong way. Kids have to be taught to do right. Kids will turn out immoral if they are not taught morality. If they never see their father or see their mother living with her boyfriend, they will not learn. They won’t learn it from MTV or in the public schools. You know that schools give out condoms. That does nothing but teach them it’s okay to have sex outside of marriage. It’s not. Without the teaching of how to do right, there’s a higher chance to see them raping, killing and stealing. You cannot legislate it into them. They must be taught the right way at home.
(3) A successful father must be consistent. Malachi 3:6 says For I am the Lord, I change not. Our heavenly Father is always the same. A successful father is consistent and predictable. If I did wrong as a child, I knew what to expect. The father governs his moods. He’s not affectionate one moment and angry the next. How can he do this? Only with the help of the Lord. He practices what he preaches. He loves consistently regardless of the situation. Unconditional love is how the Lord loves us. Nothing can separate us from his love. He looked ahead, saw us, but loved us enough to stay on the cross. The payment for sin was met at Calvary when our sins were borne by the Savior.
(4) A successful father must be the protector and provider. Demonstrate God. How we respond to a crisis shows them how to respond. The Bible says if you don’t work, you don’t eat. A man who refuses to provide for his household is worse than an infidel. It’s the father’s responsibility, not the government’s. Some fathers will miss a child support payment to pay a car payment. If you’re not going to provide for them, don’t have them.
(5) A successful father loves the child’s mother. Children hate to think of their mother and father not always being together. The average person now enters marriage knowing it could end in divorce. I meant it when I said “I do till death do us part.” Seek to keep what you have. A marriage can only be destroyed by your permission.
(6) A successful father seeks to understand his children. In school we are taught reading, writing and speaking. Did you ever take a class on listening? Most haven’t. Do you find yourself thinking of your answer when someone is talking to you instead of listening? I’m not talking about kids telling parents what to do. That’s not the proper way. Don’t get so busy telling that you’re not hearing.
(7) A successful father equips his children to face the world. He teaches them to take responsibility for their actions. Equip them spiritually. Make sure first you are okay spiritually. Fathers aren’t perfect, but they can live godly so others can see Christ in them. Don’t bring a reproach to Jesus Christ by how you live. Teach your children. Most education should be in the home. They won’t get all they need in Sunday school or in a worship service. They must be taught in the home. How long has it been since you prayed aloud with your children? We’ve suffered as a nation because the family altar is no longer in the home. Be an example; model the Christian life before your children and others around you. The only Bible some may ever read is you and me. How well are we modeling the Christian life?
These seven things will work if put into practice. Ask God to help you do it.