In honor of fathers day the world over for those cultures who so acknowledge, I have decided to write on the topic today. As a father as well, I will like to put the challenge to us all in the context of raising awareness about our responsibilities. I do wish you draw a truth or two, if not all, to add to your arsenal.
F - First and foremost, I think it is incredible that the first mention of the word father in the Bible comes on the subject of marriage, "leave and cleave" (Gen 2:24). But I don't think anyone has a problem with that since a man does not become a father (biologically) without a helper, preferably a wife. Here is an excerpt from a book on marriage, fathering, and more... "So at year six of our relationship and her observation that I wasn't seeking to cleave to her, she became emotionally disconnected from me and subsequently thought it was time to find a new life. When a woman emotionally disconnects from her husband, only God can reestablish that connection. Not many men allow themselves to achieve true emotional and soulful connections with their wives. We frequently sabotage our attempts at achieving success without even noticing or knowing it. Many of us have bought the lies of the culture, Hollywood, and the media that misrepresents what our marital commitments should be."
A - Attributes of God amazingly bear the fathering nature of God in the inherent components (Omniscient, Holy, Wisdom, Truthful, etc.) These are definitely attributes we should incorporate in the execution of our fatherly duties. The creation by God of man in His likeness is directly identified with Adam's son being born in his image and likeness in Genesis 5:1-3. How powerful is it that the fathering nature of God transcends the moment of His creation to earthly fathers, you and me.
T - The truthfulness of a father is evident in his legacy through multiple generations as King Solomon states in his prayer. 1 King 3:6 states... Then Solomon said, "You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. The ultimate Father (God) seeks children of truth (John 4:23). As such, father in truth.
H - Humor is just as important to our fatherly love as is our desire to provide, protect, discipline, etc. Fathers, lovingly step into the lighter side of life without hesitation. Here's some father humor for you...
Wisdom of a little princess: One evening a little girl and her parents were sitting around the table eating supper. The little girl said, "Daddy, you're the boss, aren't you?" Her Daddy smiled, pleased, and said yes. The little girl continued "That's because Mummy put you in charge, right?"
E - Encouragement of the right kind is extremely critical to our existence and success in this era during which we parent. Be extremely careful of your circle of influence, and subsequently who is encouraging you about what. However, you can't do it on your own, you need connection. Here is another excerpt from the book... "Men is this not incredible how spot on this Scripture is in attestation to the lives society applauds us for living. We pursue our careers, toys, hobbies, wealth, relationships, and even our trophy wives in all design to provide self-satisfaction and proof of us as "lovers of themselves". We are being encouraged and enticed to love ourselves by intoxicating commercials, billboards, Internet, movies, magazines, music, bad theology and doctrine (form of godliness but denying its power), the lure of prosperity and so on."
In case you misunderstood, the above depiction of manhood is unhealthy.
R - God's specific results we pursue as fathers on this earth are ultimately what matters most. If we do not know what the results we seek are, how can we succeed at or accomplish our calling as fathers in the image of God. Here is my opinion and what I subscribe to personally. We bear the likeness of our heavenly father in order to replicate His attributes upon those He has placed in our care (wives and/or children, and more). But make no mistake, just as Christ was about His father's business (legacy), so are we. It is all about purposeful living. We are commissioned to prepare our dependents, especially our children, to propagate a Godly family legacy for generations until He comes. Quit looking for the easy answer.