3 Characteristics of a Godly Father
I realize this is a blog for homemakers, and therefore there may not be a whole lot of fathers reading this. You can share this post for the fathers in your life to read, or you can use it to pray these things for them.
As I mentioned in my Characteristics of a Godly Mother post, I was blessed with Godly parents, and have learned so much about parenting through watching their lives.
I wanted to take the time to share some of the things that my own dad did right.
1. He admitted when he was wrong.
No one on this entire earth is perfect, and that includes my father. When he made a mistake, he was willing to admit it. He didn't try to pretend that nothing was wrong. Instead he apologized when he'd lost his temper or failed to walk in the Spirit. Instead of thinking less of him for making mistakes, we children learned valuable lessons from those instances. We saw by example how to handle our own failures – by confessing our sin, getting up and going forward rather than trying to cover things up.
2. He was a leader.
Some fathers think they are being loving by allowing their children to have their way, but that is just not true. A dad who lets his kids run around with questionable friends, listen to whatever music they want, or wear whatever clothes they want is not protecting his children. If you truly love someone, you will do all you can to protect them. And when your children don't feel protected by you, they don't feel loved. Deep down inside, children crave the leadership of their father. The clear boundaries that my dad set forth made us kids feel secure. We may not have always liked the rules at the time, but we still knew that he gave them to us because he loved us and wanted to protect us.
Not only was dad a leader by making it very clear who was in charge, he was a leader because he led by his own example. A man who tries to lead his family by prodding from behind is not really leading, is he? A true leader travels the path first and says to the family, “Follow me.” I already mentioned that my dad was willing to admit when he was wrong, but he didn't stop there. He took steps to change. Over the years, we children have been able to see areas where my dad has noticeably grown in his Christian walk. What better way to encourage your children to walk with the Lord and to serve him than to do so yourself first?
3. He was a nurturer.
When I think of what a Godly father should be, I immediately think of Ephesians 6:4, which is directed specifically to fathers:
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
The word “nurture” brings to my mind the idea of a tender plant. In order for that plant to grow and thrive, the caretaker must tend to it regularly — pulling weeds, watering, fertilizing. It requires lots of time and careful attention, and neglecting it will either cause it to die or at least come close to it.
Such tenderness seems to fit more the role of a mother, and yet the verse is specifically directed to fathers. My dad paid careful attention to us children, always finding time to play with us and listen to us. Because of that fact, his tender plants grew and thrived. A father can no more quickly squelch the desire of his children to listen to his instruction than to ignore them and make them feel unimportant.
So, while my dad wasn't perfect, these are some of the things that I appreciate about him and that impacted me as his child.
I am thankful for a gracious God who has blessed me far beyond what I deserve in giving me such a loving father!