When the month of June rolls around, we know that Father’s Day is around the corner.
To me, that day reminds me of three vital roles of a father as head of the family. We should not underestimate the importance of these roles. Without a father, a home is like a ship without a rudder. The family may drift apart, lose its moral bearings and suffer irreparable loss.
First, a father must cherish his family. This word means to hold dear in a tender and loving relationship. All his responsibilities must be carried out in the sphere of love. In Hosea 11:1-4, we see a picture of how Yahweh cherished his people. He taught them to walk by taking them by the hand, etc. Psalm 103:13 also liken God’s love for his people to a father’s love for his children.
The second verb for the father’s role is control which means to rule or command. The Lord gave this tribute to Abraham, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him …” (Gen. 18:19). This word “command” does not imply that Abraham acted like a dictator at home. Most probably Abraham ruled his household with loving counsel and correction. In the same way, the elders and deacons in the NT church must also rule their household well (1 Tim. 3:4; 12). Such rule entails both loving exhortation and firm correction.
Finally, a father must boldly claim his children for God. As fathers, we must be aware that the devil is waiting to devour our children the day they were born, just like what he tried to do to our Lord (Rev. 12:4). As such we should be vigilant and concern for our children’s spiritual welfare. We should trust God to bring our children into the kingdom of God.
As Christian fathers, let’s rededicate ourselves to these vital tasks and determine with God’s help, to cherish, control and claim our homes for the glory of God.
Rev. Mark Tay