Godly Dads, Part 3
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 NIV
Most of the time fathers are not seen as the nurturing ones in a family. When my boy’s get sick, they don’t want me, they want “Mom”. But, the Bible tends to place the father in the nurturing position. We are told not to exasperate our children, which means not to wear them out with correction, but to “bring them up”. That phrase literally means that we spend time with them on a regular basis and encourage them in the development of their character.
I have heard before that mothers are the thermometer of the home. Some say “if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”, and in a sense that is true. The Bible, however, tends to lay a huge load on the father to also set the tone or the climate of the home. A father, who is consistently harsh or is always unhappy with his children, will tend to produce children who lack the confidence to face the tough situations of life. On the other hand, a father too quiet and passive to be intimately involved in the lives of his children will likely lead to adults who cannot connect well with others, either in the workplace or in their own marriages and homes.
Fathers are often one of the best determining factors of a child’s future success in life. If a young boy never feels he meets his father’s approval, he may become either an underachiever or an overachiever, but he will never really feel that he “measures up” in life. A girl whose father fails to affirm her will many times seek that approval from another man, often in a physical nature. She desires to receive that love so much that sometimes she will revert to immorality seeking that affection. At the very least, she will enter a marriage relationship unrealistically expecting something from a husband that he may or may not be able to give.
The biggest obstacle in the life of a child, however, whose father never nurtures is that they often never realize the nurturing aspect found in a loving relationship with their Heavenly Father. Without the model from an earthly father, they see God more in the role of Judge than of “Abba” Father; which is the Hebrew term for our modern “Daddy”.
If we desire to be Godly fathers, we will strive to nurture our children in love.
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