Woodrow Gleeson once said, “It has been said a (child) is not likely to find a Father in God unless he/she finds something of God in (their) father.”
A Bible schoolteacher asked her class to draw a picture of God for her. A little girl finished first and said, “I drew a picture of my daddy because I don’t know what God looks like, but I know what my dad looks like.” (What a responsibility we fathers have!)
Think about this for a moment, men. What have we taught our families concerning our Heavenly Father and the things which pertain to Him? Today, we are going to look at two expectations the Lord has for us as fathers/husbands.
I. God calls dads to be the spiritual pacesetters in their household.
Joshua sets the tone for his household in Joshua 24, V.15. “And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the Gods, which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are now living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
We make many declarations in our families, but I think this is one that we must make. This declaration provides the foundation on which other decisions will be based: How we love our wives, treat our children, handle our businesses, etc. Without a clear commitment to the Lord, it becomes easy to “fudge” when confronted with situations and circumstances that challenge how we are going to live and conduct ourselves.
II. God calls dads to teach their children to fear the Lord: “Now, therefore, fear the Lord ...” (24.14)
We, as believers, desire to see our children fear the Lord. The question is, how do we teach this effectively? Here are four things that make for effective teaching concerning fear of the Lord.
1.) We must fear/revere the Lord. Not just in our words, but also in our actions and attitudes. Is an, “I will serve the Lord” commitment seen in all that we do, say, and think?
2.) Closely related to this is that our priorities must reflect our reverence or fear of the Lord. Do those around us know that loving the Lord and living for the Lord governs the who, what, where, when and whys of our life? That the things of the Lord are our top priority and our lives will be conformed to them and not the other way around?
3.) Our faith must reflect reverence. Do we really trust the Lord or do we say we do? In the midst of the fires of life is there a calm assurance or frantic flailing?
4.) In our prayer life. When was the last time you reverenced the Lord in prayer before your family? Tough question, but the way we answer will have great impact on our families.
The Lord has great expectations when it comes to being a husband and a dad. Let us strive, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to live as God calls and expects us to live so that our families might be all that God desires for them to be.
P.S.: Three quick reminders to wives and kids: 1.) Fathers are to be honored: Ex. 20.12. 2.) Husbands/fathers are to be respected and loved: Ephesians 5; I Peter 3.1; I Jn. 4.7-12. 3.) Husbands/fathers need encouragement just like everyone else! I Thess.5.14; Isaiah 35.3-4.