The Ten Laws of Fatherhood
By: Pastor Bill Nesbitt
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 10:22 AM
Dads are important, but you would never know that from watching TV. Shows like, “Father Knows Best” and “My Three Sons” demonstrated respect for the father. Since then shows like, “Home Improvement” and “Everybody Loves Raymond” present dads in a negative light. Strong women dominate these shows. Don’t get me wrong, I do not have a problem with strong women. I am married to one and I am the father of another. However, the Bible is very clear on the importance of fathers. Now that Father’s Day is a recent memory, let me share a few thoughts on fathers. Here are my Ten Laws of Fatherhood:
- Love God. This may seem obvious, but for you to be all that you need to be as a father you must first love God. I John 4:19 says, “We love, because He first loved us.” If you love Him, you obey His commandments (John 14:21).
- Love your Wife. Ephesians 5:28 says, “So husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.” What child is going to listen to the dad that treats their mom poorly?
- Disciple your Children. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” This is not a promise but a general principle. Growing up in a Christian home has a sanctifying influence on the other family members. This means you need to be in the Word and have a regular time of instruction with your kids.
- Discipline your Children. Proverbs 13:24 states, “He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Hebrews 12 says the discipline of God, while unpleasant for a short while is to produce holiness and the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Do not be an enabler by not disciplining your kids because you fear falling out of favor with them.
- Show Grace and Mercy. Ephesians 6:4 says you need to discipline your children, but if there is no grace and mercy, kindness and gentleness, then discipline causes bitterness and rebellion. Be kind and patient. Aren’t you glad God is patient with us? I am.
- Be There for your Kids. Dads, you have to be present to have an impact. Parenting, like Christianity, is not a spectator sport. .
- Listen. Why do kids go to their mothers instead of to us? Most men don’t tend to be great listeners, so put down the paper, get off the computer, turn off the TV, and really listen to them. I have certainly struggled in this area. My wife and daughter have both said so. If they can’t go to you or your wife, they will find someone to listen to them and that someone probably won’t share your values or worldview.
- Protect your Children. We need to protect them from bullies, but most importantly, we need to protect them from the evil one. We do that through prayer and the Word (Proverbs 4:1-5; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5). As the head of your home you must shepherd your children. The devil wants to infect your child’s mind with error and a hatred for God, so be diligent in your study, teach your children, and pray for them regularly.
- Provide for your Family. 1 Timothy 5:8 says, “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.” Men are to be hard workers, providing for their families.
- Have Fun. I loved the lighter side of my dad. It was always such a treat when he let his hair down. Be sure your kids get a good look at your lighter side. I hope you had a great Father’s Day and I pray these Ten Laws of Fatherhood are true of you.
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