Apr 222014 8 Responses

A Father’s Primary Role

What is my primary role as a father?

Some might say it is to show my children that I love them. Few could debate that answer.

Others might say it is to be the breadwinner. It’s an old-fashioned viewpoint, but one with much validity.

I have often said a father’s first responsibility is to love the child’s mother thereby establishing a solid foundation for all other roles.

Yet from one of the most poignant verses in the Bible we could make a different argument.

Colossians 3.21 says, “Father’s, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”

While the verse is set in the negative—here is what we shouldn’t do—we can easily communicate it in the positive.

A primary role of a father is to instill Godly hope in their children.

We all need hope. The moment we lose it, our heart dies, and everything becomes impossible. (See: Three Ways Parents Discourage Their Children)

Consider it: the first desire of every parent is that their child will believe they can do the important things in life. They can love, learn, grow, and have fun. Imagine the heartache if your child lost all hope. Everything would be a struggle.

Every parent desires their child to have hope. Christian parents desire that hope is based on God.

My greatest desire for my children is that they will put their hope in God. No matter the circumstance, situation, or emotion regarding a situation, if they will hope in God, they will obey him. If they obey him, they will never regret it.

Obedience in God does not guarantee that a situation will immediately result in what they want, but it does ensure that they will feel no regret for their actions. (See: Shame On Me For Shaming Them)

Here are three ways I can instill Godly hope in my children:

1. By Putting My Hope in God

I will not give my children what I do not have. Before I can even consider them, I must consider myself. While my kids should never be the primary reason for my relationship with God, they are yet another in a long list of reasons of why I should nourish my own spiritual life. Nothing influences the spiritual life of a child like the spiritual life of the child’s parents.

2. By Communicating Our Hope in God

As early as possible, a parent should get in the habit of communicating with their child regarding the trust we can have in God. Fears, concerns, and worries should all be discussed, but it should also be discussed in the context of how God deals with our fear. We should neither deny negative thoughts nor be defined by them. Instead we should admit them, turn them over to God, and walk in obedience.

3. By Practicing Our Hope in God

When we worship and serve together, we are showing our children that faith is not just something we talk about. When our talk is backed up by practice, it confirms to our children that they can trust what we are saying. Far too many believers fail to realize the importance of disciplined participation in corporate worship, yet then they wonder why their children so quickly walk away from faith when they leave for college. By itself, attending a church will not lead to a child experiencing faith. Yet when participation in church is merged with a clear communication of the gospel and parents who take their faith seriously, most children will put their hope in God.

Parenting is complicated. There are many demands placed up us. But the primary role of a father or mother is to instill Godly hope within their children. We cannot and should not make them believe, but we can point them toward God in hopes that they will discover a faith of their own. (See: One Thing We Must Teach Our Kids)

 

8 Responses to A Father’s Primary Role
  1. dennyneff Reply

    You are so right on with this. Consistency in our practice is so awfully important. Being inconsistent in our worship or the value we place on our faith will serve only to confuse our children and most assuredly send them exploring other world beliefs when they leave for college. As it says in Proverbs, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Thanks for writing this Kevin and reminding parents of their importance. This notion of letting kids decide what to believe when the get old enough is a receipt for heartache in the future. Because when the world kicks them in the gut, they often don’t know where or to whom to turn when they are hurting and all that does is make your kids hurt even worse..

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