A father’s example
Ephesians 6:4 states, “…fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” The word admonition means “instruction by example.” Leading by example is most difficult, and yet, most rewarding.
One of the greatest opportunities of a father is to teach his children by example. A good test for a father’s success is when his child becomes a parent and leads his own children in the same manner. What a father does is far more important than what he says.
Due to the demands of today’s society, fathers are struggling to find enough time to spend with their families. Look for everyday opportunities to use as object lessons. For instance, when a man helps his wife with household chores, he is teaching his son how he should treat a woman. His daughter, at the same time, is also learning what she should expect from a man.
There are a number of ways a father can teach by example. He shows the importance of the family when he reveals his love to them by his devotion, praise and sacrifice. He honors them by asking forgiveness when he is wrong and by kneeling in prayer for them. He is establishing the value of his family by seeing them as his greatest asset.
Respect for others is promoted when he recognizes his children’s diversities and helps to develop their gifts. He is teaching that all people are important to God by accepting and loving all of his children equally.
A father also teaches who God is through spiritual examples. The child’s first perception of his Heavenly Father is provided by his earthly father. When he keeps his promises and provides for his children, then the child will learn to trust the Lord.
A father’s unselfishness and faithfulness will help establish the child’s self-worth. His generosity to others will teach his children how to share.
Children may be spared from many heartaches of an ungodly world by following a Godly father. You do not become a great father by accident; it takes years of dedication to the most important people in the world, your family. The support of our churches and our nation is taught by the example seen in the home.
For the fathers who may not have received these positive traits while growing up, you can go to your Heavenly Father and He will teach you and provide the qualities that you can pass on to your own children.
Steve Conwell, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church, is heard mornings on WFLO and WVHL in “A Thought For Today.” His email address is SteveConwell@outlook.com.