By His Grace: The strength of a father's love
"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."
What was the promise? "Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him."
The children of Israel are blessed today because of their father's, Abraham's, obedience to God long ago. And in your obedience to God your family too shall be blessed.
Sunday we celebrate Father's Day all across the nation.
In society, the role of a father has become viewed as of lesser importance than that of a mother.
In society this stigma on the importance of a father's role occurs when the responsibilities of a parent have fallen to the wayside and into a negative light.
But what of those fathers (single or married) who place family first while sacrificing for love as they strive diligently to live and lead by example the ways of the lord? They have become unsung heroes who silently struggle to be heard and appreciated and are often overlooked while fulfilling the call of God. This was never the intention of the father in heaven.
The role of man who was first created by God is to be the head of the family. He does so in a supporting and nurturing way.
"Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge."
Did you notice in the opening passage it begins with fathers, you were chosen?
Do you realize the magnitude of the position?
You were selected above all others for the awesome privilege to become a parent to your children. And not just any parent but a father who is to love, guide, protect and provide. Is this not what our heavenly father does for us on a daily basis?
Almighty God placed a seal of approval upon you when he chose you. Never take this position lightly; you will be held accountable. He sees all.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
It is an honor to witness fathers who do not waver in their call.
I salute you!
And for those who are unsure as to what is expected of you as a father, what better way to know the truth than to hear from God on the matter.
From 1 Corinthians 16:13 and other biblical passages: Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
"Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. 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. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court."
"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."
"Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)"
"For you know that 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."
"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
"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."
Fathers, allow me to speak a blessing over you.
"The lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."
Happy Father's Day!
(Bible references: Genesis 18:19: Genesis 18:18; Proverbs 14:26; 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12; Joshua 1:9; Psalm 103:13; Proverbs 17:27; Psalm 127:3-5; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4; Ephesians 6:11-18; 1 Timothy 3:2-5; Deuteronomy 6:6-9. To obtain the full benefits of each verse, please read the five verses before and after each verse.)
Contributing Writer Edith Nevis can be reached at 985-857-2200 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.