Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
I hope your faith is real. It will prove itself at home. You may fool others but those who live under the same roof are not fooled. In verse 4 above Paul said proper discipline and chastisement are needed that will later help lead them to the Lord. The Lord disciplines us to help us grow as a child of God, never to hurt or discourage. Parental discipline should do the same. Never discipline in anger. Act in love treating children as Jesus does us. He always treats us right. Let’s look at four examples for this Father’s Day message.
A surrendered life to the Lord: Abraham. Genesis 22 gives us the story of Abraham being instructed to go to the mountain and offer his only son Isaac to the Lord. Isaac was not a child, as some think. He noted and said to his father that they had the wood and the fire; he asked where the sacrifice was. Abraham told him that God would provide himself a sacrifice. Isaac willingly allowed his father to do this. This is all a picture of Jesus freely offering himself. Just as Abraham was ready to offer his son, God stopped him, showing him the ram in the thicket. Abraham reverenced God and was willing to go all the way in obedience. This was hard but he followed and trusted God. He had left his homeland with the promise of a great nation to come. We need men willing to do whatever God asks of them. In Genesis 15 Abraham built an altar. We need altars in the home, even in the school. Years ago we took God out of the school and he has been replaced with violence. Why do people wonder why things are the way they are? When God is booted out, bad things follow. Fear the Lord. Follow him.
Sinful father: this one lost all sense of morals with no fear of God; his name was Lot. He was unwilling to surrender his life to God. He had no influence over his family. The sin of Sodom reached the nostrils of God and judgment was pronounced. Having lost his testimony, his family wouldn’t listen to Lot. They wouldn’t believe it when told they needed to leave. Lot’s lack of spirituality was evident. Upon leaving his wife turned and looked back at the city. This resulted in her being turned into a pillar of salt. While hiding in the cave, his daughters got him drunk and both lay with him; both had children by their own father. This shows how hardened Lot had become to sin. I can’t imagine anyone doing what he did when he offered his daughters to the mob. He had a total lack of standards and was given to sin. He had the same opportunity to do right, just as his uncle Abraham did. He chose to go to and stay in Sodom.
A sure, steadfast father: Joshua. One of the most famous verses in the Bible is found in Joshua 24:15. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. We need fathers who will raise children to serve God. He decided he and his family would serve the Lord. While a child grows and lives in your house, lead them in the ways of God. They’ll never get away from the teaching in their mind. Joshua made a commitment. He was determined that he and his family would follow God.
Slack father: Eli. He didn’t pursue the avenues set to raise his children. He showed a lack of discernment. When Hannah was at the altar praying for a son, he thought she was drunk. He showed a lack of discipline with his sons. They slept with women coming to the temple. He should have corrected them. He had a lack of dedication to the Lord. The sons died. One of the saddest verses in the Bible is given in I Samuel 4. His daughter-in-law gave birth. And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken. Ichabod: the glory of the Lord is departed. Sad to say, Ichabod has been placed on many churches. We have nothing if we don’t have the presence of God. Every child deserves a home with God in it. A God-fearing dad, a home of peace. Many don’t know what this is.
What kind of husband? father? man? are you? Do you fear and revere God? Do you follow him? Don’t be a Lot. Don’t be an Eli. Be an Abraham and a Joshua.