As we join together to celebrate fathers this weekend, let us also take some time to praise the Father of all: our heavenly Father. In His divine perfection and wisdom, God gave us clear guidelines for fatherhood because He knew that as sinful creatures, we would need it. When we apply His commandments, we see positive transformations happening in the lives of families. When a woman who is facing an unplanned pregnancy has her partner’s support, she is less likely to feel the deep loneliness and fear that could push her to seek an abortion. And when dads are present, children grow stronger, healthier, and happier. Here are 6 verses that give us an overview of God’s character and His advice to earthly fathers:
- Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4) Other versions translate the word “provoke” to “exasperate”. Children are emotional creatures, and their frontal cortex does not fully develop until their mid-20s. This can result in a lack of emotional regulation, impulsive, and sometimes risky behaviors. It is the father’s duty to be anchored deeply in God’s word and to let the Holy Spirit guide his words and actions. His discipline and instruction should be rooted in steadfast love and desire to build his children up instead of bringing them down.
- For you know we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (1 Thessalonians 2:7-12) Through the entire Bible, we see God constantly encouraging us (Psalm 23 and Isaiah 26:3 immediately come to my mind), pushing us to come closer to Him, and comforting us with the knowledge of the great joy to come. Similarly, a father ought to encourage and comfort his little ones, bringing them to Christ so they too, know the Father of all.
- Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. (Genesis 1:29) In the very beginning, we see God providing the first humans with all that they will need, and in the same way, this role of provider is entrusted to fathers (just as it is to mothers, I believe, though maybe in different ways).
- No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11) Discipline may not always feel good, yet God tells us that it is necessary to produce righteousness. Fathers are called to discipline their children but to do so in love and with respect.
- For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath. (Deuteronomy 4:31) God always keeps His promises and He never abandons us. Through this verse, men are inspired to see fatherhood as an eternal promise: to provide and care for their families, knowing that when they are involved and engaged, their children are more likely to flourish.
- Love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. (Ephesians 5:25) Our God is a God of love, and so should we. Last but not least, parenting was designed by God to be teamwork. Therefore, husbands are commanded to love their wives in the same powerful, affirming, and life-giving way as Christ loves the church. What a great responsibility! Yet, this demonstration of love is ultimately what teaches our children to love as well.
As we can see, God is not shy when it comes to guiding fathers in their fatherhood journey. Taking His recommendations into consideration, we strive to infuse these principles into the dads we see participate in our DadLINE program. The core aspects of the program: healthy relationships, responsible fatherhood, co-parenting, anger management, positive discipline, communication skills, and more are based on those principles. We want to see dads become lifelines for their children, just as God is ours.
This weekend, celebrate fatherhood with us by sharing about the DadLINE program and its benefits all around you. You can visit the website here, as well as ask us for promotional materials that you may give out to the dads in your life. In addition, as a non-profit organization, we rely on your support to continue working for God’s glory. If you would like to learn how you can help, click here.
Happy Father’s Day!
Written by Elodie Takamiya.