“But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)
Many will be celebrating Father’s Day today, a time when we recognize the special men in our families. We applaud those who are faithful to God, faithful to their families, and intentional in living lives of integrity. The world needs the example of such men for the next generation to follow.
Within the pages of the Bible, we meet many fathers. Some teach us positive lessons of faith, and some show us pitfalls to avoid. Let me tell you about several that I admire . . . and one or two that may have missed the mark in fatherhood.
Enoch’s relationship with God was so close that God translated him. He never faced death. What a heritage he left to his children. Can’t you imagine them telling this story to the grandkids!
Unfortunately, the lesson Adam left behind was that the consequences of wrong decisions affect not only our lives but the lives of our children and their children too.
God instructed righteous Noah to build an ark. Although no one believed Noah’s message except his own family, his obedience to God saved them from destruction. What a lesson for his sons to learn.
Job prayed for his children and offered burnt offerings on their behalf just in case they may have sinned. Every father should cover his children with prayer.
Abraham was willing to do an extremely difficult thing—sacrifice his beloved and long-awaited son Isaac (Genesis 22). Yet Abraham’s faith was strong enough to believe God could raise Isaac from the dead if necessary (Hebrews 11:19). What a testimony of faith to Isaac and future generations.
King David was an imperfect man who gave in to temptation. Although his sin brought serious consequences, David acknowledged what he had done and showed a repentant spirit.
Mordecai was the cousin and adopted father of Hadassah, the Jewish maiden we know as Esther. He cared for her as if she was his own daughter and provided godly advice to the young woman who became queen.
Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus, was willing to bear the shame of other’s opinion to protect Mary and her child. He could have walked away, but he chose to stay.
The apostle Paul did not have biological children, but he was a spiritual father and mentor to Timothy, Titus, and perhaps others. Such men are needed today to provide an example of integrity and faith.
The waiting father of the prodigal son (Luke 15) may have only been a figure in a parable, but he reminds us of the depth of a father’s love toward a wayward child. He did not condemn the son upon his return. He kissed him and welcomed him home. This is a lesson for all of us and also an image of God’s great love for us.
Fathers come in all shapes and sizes—tall, short, stocky, thin, curly, or bald. Some are outgoing with a hearty laugh while others are introverted and shy. Many are men of faith while others seem to have lost their way. But whatever their circumstances, the one thing they all have in common is the need for our prayers. Take time to pray for the fathers you know today.
Heavenly Father, first of all, thank You for the great love You have shown each of us. Even if our earthly father has failed us, we recognize that You are always faithful and always near. I pray You will give wisdom and strength and blessing to each father today. Encourage them and guide them. Help them to model faith and righteous living to their children and to teach them to love the truth of Your Word.