EXPECTATIONS OF THE CHRISTIAN FATHER
EPHESIANS 6:1-4 PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH 20 JUNE 2021
Read Ephesians 6:1-4
It takes more than making a child to become a father
Preparations should be made prior to becoming a father.
1. Begin with the example of your own father (provided he is a Christian father)
2. Have a proper attitude toward women
3. Focus on choosing the proper mate who will bring out the best in you.
4. Of course, the best example of how to be a father is found in our Heavenly Father.
So, there are many teachings in Scripture that provide us with the expectations a Godly father is to measure up to.
1. GOD EXPECTS A FATHER TO BE A PROVIDER. – 1 Timothy 5:8
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Today, if a man fails in this expectation, due to his laziness or lack of caring, he can be charged as a criminal.
God always considers laziness as shameful.
There are almost always complications as man assumes the role of the father.
Wife/Mother working outside the home
Coping with pressures of daily life
Living in this age of materialistic goals
Sometimes government police breeds laziness and lack of initiative
The Biblical principle – 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10
The father’s responsibility is not completed when he has provided money, housing, food for his family. Those are only the principal things for survival.
In addition to those physical necessities, the father is expected to also provide leadership. He is to provide time. A survey taken a few years back showed results that said the average quality time a father spends with his child is 18 seconds per day.
2. GOD EXPECTS THE FATHER TO BE A PROTECTOR – Matthew 24:42-43
“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day the Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known what time of night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into”
The protective father will stand between his family and anyone who might seek to harm his family.
These would include criminals, evil companions, persons caught up in the sins of worldliness.
A father must have authority in order to protect his family.
God says: the father is the final authority in the home; He says your children need an authority – to avoid: mistakes of immaturity or rebellion of his children; to avoid shame brought on by his lack of leadership in the family’ to avoid disaster which could have been avoided; to avoid spending eternity in Hell and possibly taking his children with him.
The father can exercise his protective abilities in the church as well. Paul writes in his instructions to Timothy (3:4-5) on the man who is qualified to be an elder in the church. “He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity but if a man does not know who to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?”
But --- just as the father’s responsibility is not complete by providing basic necessities for his family, his responsibilities also go beyond his protection of his family.
3. GOD EXPECTS THE FATHER TO BE A PRAISER.
Most of us would have to admit that it is a natural reaction to correct a misbehaving child. But, children, at least a majority of them, occasionally behave in a way that makes us proud as parents. It is at those times that the father must not forget to praise that child.
Now, it is right to correct a child when he misbehaves or commits some act which the parent knows is a teaching situation between the father (or the mother) and the child.
But, if the parent is always criticizing, the child will be provoked to wrath. Most children will respond to praise more often than they will to correction. Criminal psychologists say that, in most cases, children will perform atrocious acts just to get their parents attention. God expects fathers to pay attention to their children so that desire to get the attention is not an issue.
4. GOD EXPECTS THE FATHER TO BE A TEACHER.
Remember what Paul says where we began – Ephesians 6:4? Let’s look at that again: “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
One of the greatest and most effective and rewarding roles of a father is his responsibility to teach his children. Now, I know that many fathers may not feel comfortable or even be qualified to act in the role of as a teacher. What often happens is that the father teaches and instructs the child on the basic survival needs.
In those cases, what is omitted in the father’s teaching is God’s instructions and expectations. But, God has provided fathers with the knowledge of what they need to teach their children about His expectations. God expects fathers to teach their children:
1. Proper respect for women (remember the father has to have that respect as well)
2. God’s rules for dating when children are at that age – girls and boys.
3. The purity and the sanctity of sex.
4. The importance of keeping the body clean and pure. This is not only teaching on intimacy, but also will include the vices of drinking, drugs, and other harmful activities.
5. The importance of honesty.
6. Taking time to instill in the child the importance of obedience to God and spiritual matters.
7. For the son – help him to understand what it means to be a man – and be that man. What it means to be a man in our society today is a far cry from how God sees a man.
8. The proper roles in the family.
9. Making wise choices concerning future education, career, wife or husband.
Basically, there are two approaches a father may take in his teaching and training a child. Scolding and yelling. Showing and training.
5. GOD EXPECTS A CHRISTIAN FATHER TO BE A PRIEST.
In the Old Testament, the father was the intercessor for the family. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob along with others built altars and prayed for their families.
The Bible teaches us that God expects all fathers to intercede for their families. To pray for them. To lead them to Christ. To study the Word with them.
Here is a checklist for fathers on how we stack up as a priestly father.
1. Do we pray for our children daily – no matter if they are still in the house or have families of their own?
2. Do we have regular devotions/Bible study with our family?
3. Do we pray before our meals?
4. Do we take time to actually talk with each child every day?
5. Are we regular in our attendance in worship every Lord’s day?
6. Do we help our children with homework?
7. Do we discuss spiritual matters with our children?
8. Do we provide appropriate materials in our home for children to read, study and learn?
How well do we measure up to our role in our priestly duties?
6. GOD EXPECTS A CHRISTIAN FATHER TO BE AN EXAMPLE
Deuteronomy 11:18-21 says this about the example a Godly father is to set for his children:
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
It is important that a father instill the Word in his children. You have heard the saying: “Like father, like son.” It is often true that when the father sets a negative example before his children, the children will adopt that example in their own lives.
The greatest inheritance a Christian father can give his children is to be an example of reverence, honesty, ambition, a God-centered home life where the children know the father is the head of the home, and God is the head of the father.
God chose the Father image to best describe the relationship He longed to have with mankind. He must have seen something in the influence and effect that fathers have with their children that was nearly like the relationship He desired.
God will help you to become a godly father --- if you ask Him and follow His teaching.