Five Roles of Fatherhood

Father and child 

 

Father’s day is just around the corner, and while I don’t get to celebrate my dad here on earth anymore (he passed away 15 years ago) I do get to celebrate my hubby for being such an amazing dad to our young daughter and adult kids. 

I know that experiences vary greatly when it comes to fathers and daughters and it’s not always an easy, comfortable and loving relationship. Today though I want to touch on a few points the bible touches on regarding the role of fathers-  using God, our Heavenly Father, as our blueprint. 

There are many roles fathers play in our day-to-day lives, but I wanted to focus on these five significant aspects that are highlighted in the bible and also look at the differences between the world’s view and God’s view of these key factors.

  1. Conception (Creation) 
  2. Provider
  3. Teacher
  4. Discipline
  5. Love

 

1. CONCEPTION / CREATION

WORLD:

Men are needed in conception - not all of them are fathers.

The role of a father and someone who helps in conception are two different things.  A Pew Research Centre study (2019) states that 25% of US children under the age of 18 live with one parent.  Many girls and women around the world are witnesses to the fact that while their fathers are at home, there is no real relationship, and in many cases this relationship can portray violence and abuse. Conception is not always because a couple want to have a baby - sadly abortion statistics confirm this truth. Many dads do not qualify as being fathers according to scripture. All of that said, it does not mean that you can not still love and pray for the man who conceived you. 

 

GOD:

God is the creator of the entire universe and he created everything in such minute detail. Have you ever really sat down and watched a documentary about the human body, flowers, the ocean or our planet? It’s hard not to believe that someone who loves us dearly created it all for us to tend to and enjoy. 

Here are 2 resources that I know you’ll absolutely love! 

Yet, even though God is this magnificent Creator of all things, Psalm 139 says that you were formed, woven, knitted together in your mother’s womb - and your days were numbered, before there were any. God thought about you (alot!) before you were even conceived and He knew you so intimately that he took time to write you (his daughter/son), the plans he had for you and the beautiful future he had in mind for you into His book.  I can just imagine God sitting and pondering what you would look like, what your talents and gifts would be and yes, even how many hairs you would have on your head! How precious are His thoughts toward you? 

Your very start in life, according to your heavenly Father, is very different from your earthly father. Regardless of your experience, know that you were loved before you were even born and I hope that you’ll never forget that. 

 Prov 20:7 - Printable

2. PROVISION

WORLD:

Our earthly fathers are providers. 

In Matthew 7:11 God says: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” NKJV

Many fathers are hard workers. They leave home early, stay at the office late and many feel like they are never at home - all so that they can provide for their families. Real fathers want to give their children the best in life and you’ll often hear them say that they want to give their children what they themselves lacked when they were young. That desire to do good, be good and be a provider of what is good stems from the heart of our heavenly Father.

GOD:

If you can imagine all the good things you want for your children - you can multiply this by a kazillion when compared to what God wants to lavish us with.  John 10:10 (part b) says that I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” 

The words ‘abundant and life’ includes everything that we could ever need for our spirit, our soul (mind, will, emotions and intellect) and our physical bodies to prosper. God provided manna and quail for the Israelites in the desert and made water gush forth from a rock - can you imagine what he wants to provide for you? What do you need today? Have you asked Him? 

Ultimately, God provided us with the biggest gift we would ever need. He gave us His Son, Jesus - what a gift?!

I cannot even begin to imagine what God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit must have felt at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion - the idea of being separated, even for a short period of time, was absolute anguish, so much so, that Jesus’s sweat turned to great drops of blood which fell to the ground. (Luke 22:44) But they knew that without this sacrifice, we would be lost to sin forever. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, God provided the ultimate gift in making us part of His family. We get to call Him Daddy-God, Father, Abba, Pappa. 


3. LEADER, TEACHER, INSTRUCTOR

 WORLD

Fathers are there to lead, teach and guide families. I know that with our busy Westernised lifestyles today it's not always possible to do so and it often falls to mom’s to fulfil this role. But ultimately, our earthly fathers should be setting the bar in terms of biblical instruction as well as leadership in the home. We lack role-models because the work-load of many parents are obscenely insane - in many cases - and by no fault of their own, our life-styles simply demand it. Here are some scriptures giving us some more insight into a father’s role. (Psalm 44:1; Psalm 78:3; Prov 1:8;  Prov 6:20-35; Prov 23:22). When it comes to prayer - the question remains: how many fathers are leading with prayer in their home? Yet, this is integral to a successful family life. 

 

GOD

God has a very different view and compassionately, gave us the Holy Spirit to fulfil the guidance and leadership roles we so often lack in families. He also gave us the Bible - His very own love-letter to us to instruct us, lead us and guide us on the right path that will always lead us back to Him. The roles of the Holy Spirit include: being our Helper and convicts believers when they sin (John 16:7-8), leads and guides us into all truth, is the source of God’s wisdom and brings understanding (revelation) of the Word (Eph 1:17-20); Is the power-character of the Trinity and is the one who provides the power for miracles to happen (Acts 1:8). The Holy Spirit is a person and loves you as God and Jesus loves you. He is the One who is holding us together until Jesus comes back. He intercedes and prays for us when we ourselves don’t know what to say (Romans 8:26). If there was ever an example to follow and be led by, it would be the Holy Spirit.

 

4. DISCIPLINE

WORLD

Now this is a sensitive subject and I won't delve into it in detail today except to say that the lack of father-figures in the home as well as fathers who are physically at home, but not always present (they are there, but not actively playing a role in raising kids spiritually), has lead us to have a generation of children who are lost, lonely, mis-guided, undisciplined, entitled and who have no clue how to lead themselves or others. I have heard this time and time again and have myself said that I wished there was a guide book for raising children. We are each uniquely created and not everything works for everyone. 

Discipline has taken many forms over the years and we now find ourselves in an era where discipline is no longer done in love, as a form of teaching and guiding, but ranges from no discipline at all,l to severe cases of abuse. With the diminishing levels of guidance from fathers, leadership in the home has become non-existant with kids running rampant. Mom’s not knowing what to do, often throw their hands in the air and just give up.  

GOD

There is a reason God gave us a physical copy of His instructions in the form of the Bible - it’s exactly the answer we are looking for when we wish we had a manual for raising kids. The Bible is the roadmap or manual of how to live our lives and is an excellent tool to help us raise our kids. Discipline, God’s way, is not to teach a child that if they don’t listen or follow instruction that they will end up with a blue bottom. Discipline is required so that we lead and train our children toward righteousness in Christ. The Holy Spirit again is the one who leads us into all truth. Discipline is meant to draw us closer to the heart of the Father, not steer us away from Him. Fathers who spend time in the presence of God and have themselves experienced discipline and conviction from the Holy Spirit, will be guided as to how to discipline their children. It has to be from a place of love - the very heart of the Father. Read: Eph 6:4; 2 tim 1:7; Prov 13:1; Prov 12:1; Prov 22:6) 

 

When we can teach our children what it is like to spend time in the presence of the Father, it will be easier to lead and discipline them, because they will start to understand what it feels like when they are not in God’s presence. Because sin cannot exist in the presence of God. 



5. LOVE

WORLD

It is clear that the world does not love the way God loves. Just listening to the recent report of the school shooting in America confirms this. My heart goes out to every family member who has lost a child as well as the families of the two teachers. 

I sometimes wonder, if I ever found myself in a situation like that, what would I do? Would I leave my daughter to help someone else? I pray I am never in a situation where I would have to make that decision. It’s an incredibly difficult question to answer. Innately a parent’s love for their kids makes them want to protect them and keep them safe and not leave them vulnerable to the world we live in. 

 

GOD

Yet, God did exactly that. He - intentionally - sent His Son Jesus to die for us so that we could ALL be saved. Hearing people talk in general, makes me realise that as a human race, we haven’t yet fully understood or grasped the concept that GOD HIMSELF IS LOVE. He doesn’t just love us, HE IS LOVE. So if God IS LOVE, then he is not the one causing pain or wreaking havoc in your life. John 10:10 says: The thief (devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” The bible is clear on who is the source of the stealing, killing and destroying. Satan is the father of lies and will tell you whatever it takes for you to believe that God does not love you. 


But once you understand the fullness of the Love that God the Father has for humanity and why Love was the reason He sent Jesus to die on the cross and then raised Him up again - then can you have a glimpse of the very nature of God as Love. 

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. 1John 4:18-19 (NKJV)

Love loved us, before the world began. Before you were conceived, Love knew you. Love knitted you together in your mother’s womb and Love wrote out a beautiful plan and purpose for your life. Even when Love knew you would sin and turn your back on Him, Love still chose to send His Son to die for you, so that you could be part of His family. So that you could be His (sons &) daughters and He could be your Father for eternity.

What a precious, generous and gracious Love. 

As we get closer to the day we celebrate our earthly Fathers, why not honour Him in a way that will remind Him of how much He is loved by God. The closer your father gets to God’s heart the better he will be able to lead, guide and love you. 

With Father's day (2022) just around the corner - if you're late to the party at buying gifts like me... here are some ideas:

Books: 

 

Gifts:

 

Digital Printables / Instant Downloads - from the MWOV (Payhip) Shop

  • Proverbs 20:7:  The Righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him. 
  • 2 Samuel 7:14 - 'I will be his Father and he will be my Son'  

 

May your dad be blessed as you spend precious time with him. 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for the Photo by Mieke Campbell on Unsplash

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