What Does the Bible Say About Fathers?

Blessed Father’s Day to all fathers, fathers to be, step-fathers, fathers-in-law and fathers through adoption. May God’s love, grace, mercy and kindness flood your soul, sustaining you in Christ, helping you to live your life for God’s glory, the furtherance of His Kingdom and as a blessing to your family. Now, I feel as though we have many days and periods throughout the year dedicated to women, mothers & daughters and even to youth. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that … but all that is said about men seems to be yards of anger because some men perpetrate horrendous crimes against women, girls and boys. Men as fathers are important, because without them there will be no children and the race will come to a quick end! So what ought I to say about those of us who are fathers and those who will be fathers in the future?

Firstly, like it or not, the husband (who is father) is the head of the house and family. The Bible is very clear that God not only created the man first, He appointed Him as “viceregent” to rule the earth with the wife being His helpmeet. Out of nothing God created man and out of man God created woman (read through Genesis 1-2 carefully). Then, in Genesis chapter 3, we find God placing woman under the earthly lordship of the man because she sinned first, even though the man’s sin caused the race to fall because the prohibition/probation commandment was placed upon the man, not the woman. Consider it like this:

Ge 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

Then:

Ge 3:17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it.’”

The point here is that man did not exercise his leadership role over the wife, and because of this, the land is cursed and he and his descendants would find life hard for their existence (read Genesis chapter 3 carefully). But here is the point for all to see, read and grasp:

Ge 3:16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

The first clause is clear and existent … pain in child bearing. The second clause is true for even though child bearing is painful, the wife returns to her husband for intimacy knowing pregnancy could follow and child birth will be painful. The last clause is difficult for many, especially those who are of the feminist persuasion or those who follow egalitarianism. However, we can’t get away from the fact that God appointed the man to be the woman’s earthly lord under God’s Lordship. He needs to love, care, protect and provide for her through her life span. Many men abdicate this authority and responsibility, with many women usurping it. The first step to Biblical fatherhood is the man fulfilling Biblical headship in the home.

Secondly, God provides man with one woman to be his wife. Procreation (having children) must arise out of this union.

Ge 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

Reading these two verses together with Genesis 3:16 shows us that man may not play the field, sowing his seeds where he pleases indiscriminately. How can man practice Biblical fatherhood when he impregnates women, leaving them or not even knowing he has fathered children? His children need to come from one woman. That’s God’s requirement.

Thirdly, a Biblical father is one who is present, spending time with the family, exercising leadership, modeling behaviour, developing educational desire, shaping a work ethic, exposing being a Biblical husband towards the wife and many other traits that tend to be overlooked. I would like to mention a few aspects of modeling that the father needs to expose to his wife and, in particular, to his children.

A father needs to model Christlikeness through displaying his godliness to the children. They need to see him in prayer, reading the Bible and doing church properly. His language, behaviour, treatment of his wife, handling of his children, care for his extended family, conduct with the neighbours, regular work attendance, cautious intake of alcohol, etc. need to present Christlikeness for his children to copy.

Fathers need to model treating all women, especial the wife and daughters, as priceless jewels that need to be treated like ladies and princesses. How else will his sons know how to treat and respect women and their future wives and daughters?

Fathers need to model themselves as godly husbands filled with integrity, honesty and wisdom. How else, together with the above point, will his daughters know how to choose a husband? How else will they avoid choosing a man who will treat them badly and avoid being manhandled, abused or even murdered? Daughters need a father who shows them how a woman needs to be treated.

Jenny and I have witnessed her aunt and her husband plus two older couples in a church modeling marriage for us. In all three cases, the husbands sacrificed themselves to bring the best out of their wives and daughters for the glory of God! God provides us with examples to model against … we need to be observant!

Dear God, thank you for the Scriptures that show us men how You want us to do life, marriage and fatherhood. Thank you for people we may model against but especially thank You for Jesus’ example. Bless fathers. Amen.

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