Father examples

SERMON TOPIC: Father examples

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 18 June 2017


Sermon synopsis: Deut 6:6-9 (ESV) And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

We are instructed to teach their children the commands of the Lord “when you sit in your house” (at mealtimes or family gathering), “when you walk by the way” (when you go out with them), “and when you lie down” (before you go to bed), “and when you rise” (first thing in the morning).
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He’s strength and security, laughter and fun. A prince to his daughter, a pal to his son. A great story—teller and mender of toys, Who’s seldom dismayed by his family’s noise.

He’s an everyday Santa who brings home surprises, The man to consult when a problem arises. As eager a worker as ever there’ll be Who wants all the best for his whole family.

He’s a loving instructor who struggles to teach His child to achieve all the goals one could reach. And he knows in his heart that it’s worth all the bother When he hears his child say “That man? That’s MY father!”

Deut 6:6-9 (ESV) And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

We are instructed to teach their children the commands of the Lord “when you sit in your house” (at mealtimes or family gathering), “when you walk by the way” (when you go out with them), “and when you lie down” (before you go to bed), “and when you rise” (first thing in the morning).


The Word of God should be on the “doorposts” of the house or on “your gates” i.e. displayed visibly in our houses or by the shows we watch, books or magazines we read, or music we play or listen to.

Fathers should be the “high priest” of their home. He is the spiritual leader and the spiritual head of the family. We see in Scripture that God holds fathers accountable for their children.

A father’s first responsibility is to acquaint his children with Scripture. The means and methods that fathers may use to teach God’s truth will vary. As the father is faithful in role modelling, what children learn about God will put them in good standing throughout their earthly lives, no matter what they do or where they go. 1

1 "https:// www.gotquestions.org/ fathers-Christian.html">https:// www.gotquestions.org/ fathers-Christian.html


Prov 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

We should be training our children in the way they ought to live. There is no better training tool for this than Scripture. Fathers should be reading to their children daily from the Bible.

2 Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.


A father instructs his children in the ways of God. God said of Abraham:

“For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” (Gen 18:19)

We are commanded to teach both our children and grand-children.

Deut 4:9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.


Psalm 78:3–4 (NASB) Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.

But we live in an age when there are many absentee fathers, who have abdicated their role as high priest in the family.


We think of orphans only as the little girls and lads, Who haven’t any mothers and who haven’t any dads. They are grouped with other children and in groups they’re put to bed. With some stranger paid to listen while their little prayers are said.

All the grownups look with pity on such lonely children small, And declare to be an orphan is the saddest fate of all. But sometimes I look about me and with sorrow hang my head As I gaze on something sadder than the orphans of the dead.


For more pitiful and tragic as the long days come and go, Are the orphans of the parents they’re not allowed to know. They’re the orphans of the living, left alone to romp and play, From their fathers and their mothers by ambition shut away.

They have fathers who are busy and so weighted down with cares, That they haven’t time to listen to a little child’s affairs. They have mothers who imagine, life could give them, if it would Something richer, something better than the joys of motherhood.

So their children learn from strangers, and by strangers’ hands are fed, And the nurse, for so much money, nightly tucks them into bed. Lord, I would not grow so busy that I cannot drop my task, To answer every question which that child of mine may ask.

Let me never serve ambition here so selfishly, I pray, That I cannot stop to listen to the things my children say. For whatever cares beset them, let them know I’m standing by. I don’t want to make them orphans till the day I come to die.

~~ Edgar Albert Guest ~~

In the seeming absence of a believing father, Timothy’s mother and grandmother had taught him from youth.

2 Tim 1:5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

2 Tim 3:15 … and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.


Malachi 4:6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.

In 2016 Dr. Hawkes, a leading Australian educator warned that fathers spend 18 seconds a day on average talking to their kids, while kids spend an average of 2 to 5 hours a day online, “so the people raising our sons and daughters are not parents but peers and social networking sites”. 1

1 " heraldsun.com.au/ news"> heraldsun.com.au/ news


Hawkes says that the leadership examples and moral codes in society are not worthy of our children: “There are too many absentee parents who are so conscious of producing 2.3 children, 2.3 houses and 2.3 cars that they forget to spend time with them.” 1

God instructs fathers to repent of their selfish ways and to spend time with their children. Families are the backbone of a nation and if they disintegrate so does the nation.

Unless fathers turn their hearts to their children and the children reciprocate – Malachi says that the land will be struck “with a decree of utter destruction.”

1 Ibid





We learn much in Scripture about practical living from the example of those who have gone before us. This includes the issue of fatherhood.

The best way to lead is by example. Don’t tell children, “Do as I say, don’t do as I do”. Paul said:

(NASB) Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.

(NIV) Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

Children imitate the actions of their parents.

Eph 5:1 (NASB) Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children


Psalm 127:3 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.

Our children are precious. They are not only a mother and father’s heritage but “a heritage from the Lord”.

They must not be viewed as an inconvenience, but as “a reward” from God.

Children are a gift from God. They are only ours for a time, but ultimately they belong to God. When Esau saw Jacob’s children he asked whose they were and Jacob answered that they were “the children God has graciously given your servant.” (Gen 33:5)


Not only was Adam the first man, he was also the first human father. In that aspect, he had no human example to follow. As a man who had tended the garden of Eden, he must have taught his eldest son Cain to help, as we see that he later “worked the soil”. Likewise Adam had been in charge of the animals in Eden and would have taught his second son Abel how to tend the flocks.


Work is good for children. Not only does it teach them to be grateful for what their parents do all day long, it creates a work ethic in them. Parents need to instil in their children a work ethic that will carry them into adulthood. Giving your children jobs or chores in the house and getting them to help with housework teaches them to be providers and to contribute to the society they live in, rather than just being a drain on others resources.


Adam and Eve appear to have taught their sons (both Abel and Cain) about God and the need to sacrifice to him. Seth also appears to have been a godly son.

It is important that parents teach their children about the things that please God.

We see that God expected Cain to bring the correct sacrifice – so he must have been instructed in that regard.


Adam and Eve had formerly led the world into sin and exile from Paradise.

As a father, Adam would later have to live with the personal tragedy of his son, Abel, being murdered by his other son, Cain. He would then have to contend with Cain being sent away into exile by God.

As fathers we can learn a lot from Adam about the consequences of our actions on our family and how we ought to live in obedience to God.


While Cain’s line produced another murderer - Lamech (Gen 4:23), it seems that the knowledge of God was taught to Seth by Adam and Eve, who in turn passed it on to his son Enosh.

Gen 4:25-26 … she (Eve) gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on the name of the LORD.


Abraham was a man that the Bible encourages us to emulate in regards to his great faith and implicit trust in God. Yet he was not without fault.

At one point (Gen 20) he told a lie to get out of a sticky situation. He said Sarah was his sister (a half-truth) rather than his wife, out of fear for his own safety and inadvertently placed Sarah in a precarious position, when she was subsequently taken by Abimelech as a wife.


This was despite the fact that God not only was able to resolve the situation – he did. God miraculously intervened and delivered Sarah from Abimelech.

Interestingly Abraham’s son Isaac, who was also a righteous man, would later do the very same thing. Perhaps he was following the bad example set by his father in this regard.


If Abraham had lived today, perhaps some well-intentioned person might have reported him to the Child Protection Unit when they heard that he was considering offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice.

But the Bible makes it clear that this was not due to bad parenting. He was acting in faith and under instruction from God, fully believing that God would raise Isaac from the dead in order to fulfil his covenant promises regarding the promised seed. (Heb 11:17).


Likewise Abraham might have been reported to the Child Welfare if they learnt that he had seemingly abandoned his concubine Hagar and son Ishmael and sent them off into the wilderness.

Again this is not a fair assessment of his actions. The Bible is clear that Abraham loved his son Ishmael.


In fact before Isaac was born, Abraham had requested God to establish his covenant promises through Ishmael, saying “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” (Gen 17:18)

And God had agreed responding “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac…” (Gen 17:20-21)


A situation arose that was out of Abraham’s control. His son Isaac was being persecuted by Ishmael (Gal 4:29). Likewise he was being pressurised by his legal wife Sarah to remedy the situation by sending Hagar and Ishmael away. We are told that the “matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son” (Gen 21:11)


Ishmael and Hagar (The Bible Mini Series)

Again Abraham was acting on God’s instruction. Nor is it true that Abraham was unconcerned about Ishmael and Hagar’s welfare. He only complied after God assured him that he need not be distressed and promised his divine protection for them by saying “I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring.” And God subsequently sent his angel to provide for and protect the pair when they left Abraham’s home (Gen 21).


While the root of the problem stemmed from Abraham and Sarah trying to “help” God fulfil his covenant promise in their own strength, it would be unfair to say that Abraham was a bad father. His actions clearly showed that he loved both of his sons and that he was saddened when Ishmael left.

It’s clear that he only allowed it to happen because God had assured him of the child’s safety- by virtue of his promise that Ishmael would become a progenitor of a nation.


Abraham’s actions show that in a broken home situation, which may arise due to circumstances out of your control, a father still needs to be concerned about the provision and welfare of his children from the former union.

We are told that although Isaac was the son of inheritance that “while he was still living”, Abraham “gave gifts to the sons of his concubines”. This would have included Ishmael and the 6 sons of Keturah.

Years later when Abraham died, of his 8 sons - it was Isaac and Ishmael who buried him (Gen 25:9).


Isaac was a godly man. But in his role as a father, he shows us the danger of having favourites.

Gen 25:28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Although God had indicated to his wife that Jacob was to be the son of the covenant (“the older will serve the younger”), Esau was Isaac’s favourite and he resisted God’s will by attempting to give the blessing to Esau instead.


The end result was that Esau hated his brother and plotted to kill him. As such, Jacob was forced to live in exile. Rebekah too paid a price for showing favouritism - by living out the remainder of her life and dying, in the absence of her beloved son.


Clearly Jacob learnt nothing from his parents’ mistake of showing favouritism to a particular child.

As a father, he overtly favoured his son Joseph and made no attempt to hide it. He openly showed his preference by buying Joseph a special coat.


This caused Jacob’s his other sons to hate Joseph and plot to kill him, eventually selling him into slavery.

Jacob paid a terrible price by living for years in the belief that his beloved son was dead. Just as he had lied to his father Isaac years earlier, so his own sons deceived him.


Another lesson we learn from Jacob’s life is that God works in spite of our mistakes in order to accomplish his people (i.e. in this case delivering his people and Egypt from perishing by famine).

Ultimately, by God’s grace, Jacob is reunited with his beloved son, while the estranged brothers are reconciled.


Eli was a good man. The Bible records no grave sin of his own. He showed kindness to the boy Samuel. When Samuel first heard God’s voice and was ignorant of the fact, it was Eli’s wise advice that informed him of how to respond and thus to hear what God had to say.


Although he knew that Samuel would succeed him as Israel’s spiritual leader, rather than his own sons, there is no evidence of any resentment. When Samuel revealed God’s judgment against him, Eli responded submissively: “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes” (1 Sam 3:18).


We see that “his heart feared for the ark of God” when the ark was carried into battle (see 1 Samuel 4:13). And on hearing of the capture of the ark of God, he was so distressed that he fell off his chair, breaking his neck and died. So it’s apparent that he was deeply concerned about the things of God.


Yet this good man of God failed miserably as a father. He failed because he was a passive father. God says of Eli, “For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them.” (1 Sam 3:13).

When he heard that his sons were sleeping with the women who served in the tent of meeting, he did rebuke them, but did nothing further.


As Israel’s spiritual leader, he could have told his sons that their sin would not be tolerated any longer – and then enforced that ruling by suspending them if they refused to comply.

Then when his sons were taking the best of the meat before it was even sacrificed, it seems they may have even influenced Eli to join them in that sin. (1 Sam 2:29)


While Eli was soft on his sons’ sin, he was harsh on the sins of others. When he thought that Hannah was drunk at the tabernacle, he was quick to reprimand her. But when his sons were committing adultery with other tabernacle workers, it wasn’t until the people complained that he reprimanded them. Don’t be godly - but have double standards – a low standard for your children and a high standard for everyone else!


But you might say that Eli’s sons were grown men – after all what could he do? Yet God still held him accountable. He probably had acted the same way when the boys were younger.

Fathers – if you don’t assume responsibility for the shepherding of your family, God will hold you accountable!


Lead your children to personal faith in Christ. Eli’s sons, “did not know the Lord” (1 Sam 2:12, NASB). You cannot just let your children grow up neutral so that they can decide for themselves about God. They’re growing up in a world that is hostile to God.

Eli failed to impart to his sons a respect for God’s ways, including the sacrifices and offerings (see 2:13, 27-29). So they disobeyed God and disregarded the rebukes of God’s people (see 2:16). God’s ways are the principles revealed in His Word. For example, your children need to know that disobedience has consequences. They need to learn the importance of prayer and Bible reading by seeing those things modelled as a way of life in the home. We live to serve others, not indulge ourselves. Our lives are governed by God’s Word. 


Third, to shepherd your family you must teach your children to reverence God and the things of God (see 2:16, 17, 29, 30). I never want my children to hear me joking about God or His Word. At the same time, I do want them to know that a Christian home is a fun and happy place to live.

Finally, correct your children when they need it. Eli was in his 90s, so his boys were probably in their 40s or 50s, at least. Parents can’t correct their adult children as if they were first graders, but that doesn’t mean you must be passive. Proverbs 29:17 says, “Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; he will also delight your soul” (NASB). 1

1 Adapted from Steven J. Cole, originally printed Confident Living, by the Good News Broadcasting Association, Inc.


Perhaps you’ve seen yourself in this post-mortem of a passive father. Perhaps you think it’s too late now. Your children may be grown and gone. But, by God’s grace, it’s not too late to seek God’s forgiveness and actively to seek to influence your children – and even grandchildren – from this moment on. Will you choose to follow the Lord fervently and actively? 1

Ps 71:18 Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come..

1 Ibid


David was favoured by God and even called a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14) We all remember his zeal for the Lord as well as his faith and bravery in taking on and defeating the giant Goliath.


Yet David’s later sin of adultery with Bathsheba impacted upon his children. It led directly to the death of the first son of that union (2 Sam 12:14).


Although God forgave David, he had to live with the consequences of his sin, with the prophet Nathan declaring, “Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.” (2 Sam 12:11-12)


Don’t think you can blatantly sin without it impacting your family!

David’s third son Absalom would commit adultery with David’s own concubines. (2 Sam 16:22) What David did in secret, his son did openly, following the poor example of his father in that regard and fulfilling Nathan’s prediction.

In his sin, David also had Uriah killed so that he could marry his wife Bathsheba. Again the pronouncement of judgment from Nathan was, “Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house…” (2 Sam 12:9-10)


Bedsides the death of his child, in a short space of time three of David’s sons (Amnon, Absalom and Adonijah) would be killed, with the latter two rebelling against their father’s rule.

Often God shows grace to our family, but removes that grace when we sin with impunity.


Like Eli, despite being godly, David was a passive father and failed to take action against or discipline his children. This resulted in several cases of tragedy.

One son Amnon raped his half sister Tamar and when David heard what had happened to his daughter “he was furious” (2 Sam 13:21), yet did nothing. As a result of his father’s inaction, Absalom took the law into his own hands and avenged his sister’s rape by murdering Amnon.


When David’s sons, Absalom and Adonijah, in separate instances, rebelled against him, David again largely failed to act.

David clearly loved his sons, in particular Absalom. But although Absalom had killed his brother Amnon and started an open armed rebellion against his father, David commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai, “Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.” (2 Sam 18:5)


When David was brought news of the battle his first response was “Is the young man Absalom safe?” (2 Sam 18:29) without any show of concern for his soldiers who, despite not being family, had remained loyal to him.

David was so caught up in over-compensating for his son’s bad behaviour that he failed to thank the men who had risked their lives to defend him and his family.


As such he received a rebuke from Joab who cautioned him that he was alienating his loyal subjects and friends by his blind support for disloyal family.

“Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines. You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the LORD that if you don’t go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come upon you from your youth till now.” (2 Sam 19:5-7)


While many godly men in the Bible (including also Hezekiah and Samuel) failed in some aspects as fathers, there is certainly merit in having a God-fearing father. One only has to look at the example of the ungodly men in Scripture and how it affected their children.

E.g. The wicked Ahaz and Manasseh both sacrificed their sons to pagan gods.

2 Kings 16:3 He (Ahaz) … even sacrificed his son in the fire, engaging in the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.

2 Kings 21:6 He (Manasseh) sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.


It seems we have a lot of examples of godly men who were not particularly good fathers. Rather than disciplining and correcting their children, many of them were too lenient and ended up spoiling their children.

It is a tricky balance that fathers have to achieve. Paul cautions that going to the other extreme of being an extreme disciplinarian is also unwise.

Eph 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.


The negative part of this verse indicates that a father is not to foster negativity in his children by severity, injustice, partiality, or unreasonable exercise of authority. Harsh, unreasonable conduct towards a child will only serve to nurture evil in the heart. The word “provoke” means “to irritate, exasperate, rub the wrong way, or incite.” This is done by a wrong spirit and wrong methods—severity, unreasonableness, sternness, harshness, cruel demands, needless restrictions, and selfish insistence upon dictatorial authority. Such provocation will produce adverse reactions, deadening children’s affection, reducing their desire for holiness, and making them feel that they cannot possibly please their parents. A wise parent seeks to make obedience desirable and attainable by love and gentleness. 


The positive part of Ephesians 6:4 is expressed in a comprehensive direction—educate them, bring them up, develop their conduct in all of life by the instruction and admonition of the Lord. This is the whole process of educating and discipline. The word “admonition” carries the idea of reminding the child of faults (constructively) and duties (responsibilities). 1

Discipline is a sign of sonship and an indication of love on the parents’ part. Lack of discipline shows indifference.

Heb 12:7-8 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.

1 "https:// www.gotquestions.org/ fathers-Christian.html">https:// www.gotquestions.org/ fathers-Christian.html


Fair consistent discipline, despite being painful, trains the child to live in righteousness and peace and it results in respect for the parents.

Heb 12:9-11 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 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.


There are also examples of good fathers in the Bible. Job was “blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1), but he also was a good father.

He was involved with his children socially when they had their regular feasts.


But he also regularly prayed and interceded for his children regularly.

Job 1:5 When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.


Not only did Job not show favouritism, he treated his daughters and his sons equally. Remember that Job was the oldest book in the Bible. Yet in what was extremely uncommon in those days, he granted his three daughters an inheritance along with his sons. Rather unusually as well, only his daughters names are mentioned, not his sons. 1

1 Job 42:13-15 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.


At first, Noah appears to have been the most unsuccessful preacher ever – he seemingly had no converts!

Yet in a wicked world that was unresponsive to his preaching, his family responded to his message and served God. Unlike many of the righteous men in the Bible, whose children didn’t follow their example, in this aspect Noah stands out.


See NOTE 3

Noah faithfully followed his convictions. Despite opposition and ridicule, he bravely carried out the work God assigned to him, assisted by his sons who learnt from his godly example.


See NOTE 3

Noah can also be commended out as a man who served God in spite of living in a world that “was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence” (Gen 6:11). How relevant and applicable this is to our modern world. Perhaps you may think that it is impossible to raise godly children in our current godless and permissive society.

Yet Noah did in a world so wicked that God destroyed it.


See NOTE 3

Here’s a good father in the Bible that you’ve probably never heard of.

Although Jehonadab (aka Jonadab) was not an Israelite, he supported the righteous Jehu in the elimination of the house of Ahab and in suppression of Baal worship throughout Samaria. (2 Kings 10:15-16)

Jonadab was a father whose children respected and obeyed him even generations after he was gone. Not many fathers command and obtain such respect today.


Jonadab instructed his children never to drink wine and, not only did they obey him, they passed his command on to the future generations. (Jer 35:5-8 )

Then I set bowls full of wine and some cups before the men of the Recabite family and said to them, “Drink some wine.” But they replied, “We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jonadab…gave us this command:


‘Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine… We have obeyed everything our forefather Jonadab… commanded us. Neither we nor our wives nor our sons and daughters have ever drunk wine…”

Jeremiah used their obedience to reprove the people of Judah.

Jer 35:13-15 … “Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?” declares the LORD. “Jonadab son of Recab ordered his sons not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me. Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you. They said, ‘Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and reform your actions; do not follow other gods to serve them. Then you will live in the land I have given to you and your fathers.’ But you have not paid attention or listened to me.”


God blessed these people, who had treated the words of their fore- father as an eternal covenant, with the promise that they would always have a godly lineage.

Jer 35:18-19 Then Jeremiah said to the family of the Recabites, “… ‘You have obeyed the command of your forefather Jonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered.’ Therefore, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jonadab son of Recab will never fail to have a man to serve me.’”


Fathers give direction to their children.

Psalm 127:4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

The course of an arrow is determined by the archer. Likewise a father and mother give their children direction to guide them in the decisions and life choices they make. Once the arrow has left the bow we no longer have any control over it and ultimately other things (like the wind) might affect where the arrow falls.


But we have to at least aim for a godly target and point them in the right direction.

Likewise eventually as our children get older we will have to relinquish control. But we need to make sure that we have set them on a godly course to start off with.


Often the arrow misses the target because it wasn’t aimed correctly in the first place.

Proverbs 22:6

NASB: Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

NIV: Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

NLT: Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.


Probably one of the most underrated fathers in Scripture must be Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus.

Matthew calls him “a righteous man” (Matt 1:19) .On numerous occasions God gave him direction by means of dreams and he always obeyed God’s instruction.


He protected his wife Mary and his child from scandal (Luke 1:19) and this also may have motivated him to later relocate to Nazareth, besides the threat from Herod.

When his son’s life was in danger he had moved to another country (Egypt) to protect his son and wife (Luke 2: 14-15).


Joseph set a godly example. He did everything required by the Law in terms of the consecration of the first- born child.

Luke 2:39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.


He was concerned about his son’s safety. When the 12-year old Jesus went missing in Jerusalem, on finding Jesus, Mary says “Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” (Luke 2:48)

Joseph would have seen to Jesus’ education and needs as he was growing up. He and Mary would have maintained discipline in their home because the boy Jesus “was obedient to them” (Luke 2:51).


The Bible calls Joseph a carpenter (Matt 13:55) but Jesus is also called the carpenter (Mark 6:3). So Joseph taught his son the carpentry trade and thus the value of earning a living by hard work to provide for your family.

Scriptures implies that after the death of Joseph, Jesus was supporting his mother, as on the cross he committed her to the care of John (John 19:26).


Often Jesus used the father-son analogy as a positive teaching example. He noted that earthly fathers, despite being sinful, loved to bless their children with good gifts and grant their requests (Matt 7:9-10).

He spoke of his heavenly father providing for his children in their needs for food and clothing (Matt 6: 25-26).

He used the love of an earthly father for a wayward son as an example of God’s love for the sinner in his parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15).


Blessed are the parents who make their peace with spilled milk and mud, for such is the kingdom of childhood.

Blessed is the parent who engages not in the comparison of his child with others, for precious unto each is the rhythm of his own growth.

Blessed are the fathers and mothers who have learned laughter, for it is the music of the child’s world.

Blessed and mature are they who without anger can say no, for the child is comforted by the security of firm decisions.

Blessed are the men and women who, in the midst of the unpromising world, give love, for they bestow the greatest of all gifts to each other, to their children, and in an ever widening circle to their fellow men. ~ Anonymous



Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV:

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. ( Lockman.org)

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