Compared to Mother’s Day, the enthusiasm around Father’s Day is often much more reserved. My father used to joke that restaurants would beg people to come in for Father’s Day (in retrospect, he was somewhat right). While it is funny, it does beg the question of “why?” Why is Father’s Day less celebrated than Mother’s Day? 

Two reasons come to mind: fatherhood’s portrayal in the mass media and the lack of a clear definition of what fatherhood is. Both reveal a plot by the enemy to “kill, steal, and destroy” (John 10:10, NIV) any chance of fatherhood being a model for how God cares for us. 

Well, that ends today. For those who have celebrated Father’s Day, we’re going to look at four great examples of fatherhood that come directly from the Bible to teach our men how to be better fathers and to shut out the voices of an angry world. 

 

Abraham

Abraham is often called “the father of faith,” an accurate term that acknowledges his life and his legacy. But there’s one poignant example that I think can help every father reading this: When Abraham was tested by God to sacrifice Isaac, he did as commanded. But even with this commandment, he told his servants to wait for him and Isaac because “we will worship and then we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5, NIV). 

Men: Abraham walked up the mountain knowing that God would give him the ram in the bush before it happened. Faith like that is required in fatherhood, because it exemplifies a resilience of spirit and heart for your children that no matter what life burns you with, God will walk with you through the flames.

Demonstrate this FAITH when trouble comes and your heart will be settled. 

 

David

David was not the greatest father in the world, but he had an undeniable heart for God. Throughout his life, David demonstrated this diligence to God through prayer, fasting, singing, and the like. Solomon, one of David’s many children, took to his father’s example wholeheartedly, staying quietly in the background and leaning on the Lord while his siblings sowed chaos. But while David remained in the Lord, he taught Solomon how to do the same – leading to the latter being anointed as the wisest King of Israel! 

Men: When your children can look at you instead of what’s on TV as the example of living a godly life, that is when fatherhood becomes a true model for the kingdom of God. David didn’t live a perfect life (and Solomon’s existence was proof of that), but he bounced back and modeled how to be a godly man for a wise son.

Fuel your childrens’ spirits through your CHRIST-LIKE LIVING and see them draw ever closer to God! 

 

Joseph

Joseph, as the father of Jesus, often gets overlooked in Jesus’ upbringing. However, when Jesus is recognized by someone from his hometown, he’s called a “carpenter’s son” (Matthew 13:55, NIV). It may have been an insult, but it’s also an insight into how Joseph raised Jesus. Jesus’ instruction from Joseph about carpentry gave rise to the many “house” and “building” metaphors Jesus uses across the Gospels, namely in John 14:2, Matthew 5:14, Matthew 7:24-27, and Matthew 16:18. For Jesus to lay down his life for us, Joseph had to lay down the foundation of humble service to his son. 

Men: Joseph had one of the most daunting tasks in human history – raise up the Savior of the world. While you’re not raising a Savior, you are raising up children who will be doctors, engineers, writers, artists, and scholars of all kinds who can change the world. If you lay down the foundation of education, excellence, humility, hope, resilience, and love, they will have the tools to build something wonderful and powerful.

Build the FOUNDATION for your children with God as the center so that they will be inspired and encouraged by it. 

Light of the World

Lastly, we cannot talk about fatherhood without talking about our Father in Heaven. Many Bible verses illustrate the effect God’s fatherhood has on us, but the one that stays with me is Matthew 5:14-16, one of my mother’s favorite verses. It says that we are the light of the world, that a city cannot be hidden with us in it, that we cannot hide our light, and we’ve got to let it shine before others “that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (ESV). As with the moon that reflects the sun’s light to the earth, we do the same with God. We ought to reflect His light to others and especially to our children. 

Men: If you’ve been lacking in reflecting God’s light to your family, it’s never too late to change that. Although fatherhood’s definition might get skewed and twisted to something other than what God intended, I hope this has helped you take that definition back. Look for resources to counsel you, mend your pain, and help you heal so that you can be the best father you need to be. You can start with this sermon about the legacy of fatherhood. You can start with this book about disciplining yourself to be a godly man. Or, you can start with the Word of God by learning from these fallible but faith-minded men who served the Lord, and their families, with all their heart. Wherever you start, make it count and MAKE IT MATTER. Happy (belated) Father’s Day!



Written by: Aaron Cobbs

June 22, 2021