“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
When asked the one thing that contributed to the making of Arnold Palmer and to the respect that he commanded everywhere during his CBS feature “Arnold Palmer: the Man and His Legend,” Palmer replied, “The influence of my father!”
If you’re a father, or if you hope to be a father one day, it’s important that you understand the tremendous influence a father has upon his family, and thus, upon the world. Fathers are important to God because they are created in His image. He was the first Father. And He has laid out before us in His Word a model to follow.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” From these two verses, we learn three qualities to which we should aspire if we want to be godly fathers. We’ll focus on the first two this week.
1. If you want to be a godly father, then you must be watchful and stand firm in the faith.
It is incredible the influence that fathers have over their families, particularly their children. And it is in the family environment led by a Christian Dad that God does an incredible work and that Satan seeks to kill and destroy. Satan knows if he can bring down the father, he can destroy the family. That’s why we, as Dads, must be watchful and be on our guard at all times. 1 Peter 5:8 states, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone (particularly a Dad) to devour.” Satan desires to take your family and rip it apart. And the reason is he knows that as the family goes, so goes the nation.
2. If you want to be a godly father, then you must stand firm in the faith.
Men, we must not waver. We’re in a spiritual battle. Paul gives us a warning in Ephesians 6:11-13: “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.”
And so, the question is, “How do we stand firm?” It all starts with a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, who will then become the Lord of your life, and guide you through all of the decisions that you as the head of your family must make. And it takes accountability from other Christian fathers. Ecclesiastes 4:12 states, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Stay tuned next week as we consider the other qualities that are necessary to live in this fallen world as godly fathers.