“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
Last week we began to look at the qualities to which a man should aspire if he desires to be a godly father. From the passage above we learn of three qualities. The first quality is to be watchful and stand firm in the faith.
This week we’ll focus on the second quality – to be strong and act like a man. The line between what it means to be a man has been blurred like never before. In his book, The Christian Husband, Bob Lepine writes: “Prior to the advent of television, the dominant institutions shaping the next generation were the family, the community, and the church. Now it’s the TV. Young men can surf until they find the masculine role model of their choice.” That’s why it’s so important for boys to have godly fathers to model a realistic picture of manhood to them.
As Christian men, we should strive to become a “good family man.” Dr. David Blankenhorn, head of the Institute for American Values, points out that this phrase “was once widely used in our culture to designate a true badge of honor. The rough translation would be someone who puts his family first.” Dads, we need to bring back this badge of honor and wear it boldly.
So what does it mean to be a “good family man?”
1. We see from Scripture, that the father is to serve as the family provider. This was not disputed 50 years ago when clearly the father was the breadwinner. But, this is not as clear today. However, I believe this responsibility, by God’s direction, falls upon the man.
2. The father is to be the leader of his family, that is, the spiritual head. Dad should be the final arbiter on issues of substance as he takes his guidance from the Word of God. The father is to be the servant leader in the home, loving his wife and willing to die for his family. And He is to give spiritual direction to his wife and children, teaching them the fundamentals of the faith.
3. The father is to serve as protector. He is to shield his family from the onslaught of the outside world. It is his responsibility to see that his house is safe and that the children come home at a decent hour. He is the one family members come to when they feel threatened and afraid. And it is his role to defend the honor and well-being of his family.
Men, when we fulfill our responsibility and act like men, our wives, sons, and daughters will have an infinitely greater chance of becoming the men and women that God intended for them to be, and they will have significantly greater security in who they are in Christ.
Next week, we’ll examine the third quality mentioned in the above passage as we continue to consider God’s design for godly fathers. Remember, a father’s influence is tremendous and will impact his offspring for generations. Amen!