What does the Bible say about fathers?

A picture of a dad with a child on his back. They are both smiling. Next to the image are the words what does the Bible say about fathers? www.onedeterminedlife.com

My husband and I have been married for 15 years and one thing that made me fall in love with him was his love for kids. On Sundays at church, I could always find him holding a baby and volunteering in the nursery. Even though he loved kids, he didn’t have the greatest father figure growing up, so he watched godly men parent. Another way to learn how to be a godly father is to ask: What does the Bible say about fathers?

The Bible has so much wisdom to share about life and fatherhood. Continue to read and discover what The Bible says about fathers.

A picture of a dad with a child on his back. They are both smiling. Next to the image are the words what does the Bible say about fathers? www.onedeterminedlife.com

What does the Bible say about fathers?

Fathers should discipline their children

As parents, it is our job to discipline our children. But we have warped the meaning of discipline. In the ancient Hebrew of Proverbs, discipline means to instruct, correct, chastise, or rebuke. It does not mean punish or beat.

We see many verses that encourage parents to discipline their children, comparing how God treats us to how we should treat our children.

Proverbs 3:11-12 ESV My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights

This verse clarifies that any discipline given should be done out of love for the child. The father delights in the child and loves him, so he wants to correct him and show him a better way.

Proverbs 19:18 ESV Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.

The Bible makes it clear that discipline is important. If we don’t teach our children and come alongside them, they may make choices that lead them to death. By showing our children how to follow The Lord, they see an example of what it means to follow God.

Proverbs 1:1-4, 8-10 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. 8 My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck. 10 My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them!

Proverbs 1:1-4, 8-10

Hebrews 12:11 ESV For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:7 ESV It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

No one likes to be corrected, but it’s necessary.

Matthew 7:9-11 ESV Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Children are a blessing

Psalm 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127:3-5 esv

We have 3 kids, 12, 9, and 6. Each of them is a blessing, and we are so thankful to have them in our lives.

Day-to-day parenting can be hard, and it’s easy to take our eyes off the big picture of what we are doing in the home. Our goal is to train our children, so they decide to believe in Jesus and decide to follow God on their own once they leave the house.

4 Things Fathers can do to lead their child to God

1. Don’t provoke your children to anger

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

As a parent, it’s easy to make our children upset. Our oldest daughter is 12 and wants more freedom and fewer boundaries. When we set boundaries, she gets angry and frustrated. This is not the type of anger this verse is talking about.

Do not provoke can also mean not to irritate, exasperate, excite, or stir up your children. There are many ways parents can provoke their children, but I want to focus on one that I see in our house regularly.

I love my kids, but sometimes they get on my nerves. I ask them to settle down 1 or 2 times, but then my irritation increases and I snap at my kids. I raise my voice, or speak with more frustration. My increased emotion usually scares my kids, hurt their feelings and stirs them to anger. There was no reason for me to be angry. It’s my job to communicate properly with my kids. I need to be better at calming myself down and bring the emotions down, not up.

2. Love your wives

Ephesians 5:25-33 ESV Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, …

Kids learn how to navigate the world through the examples they see in their day to day. If kids see dad treat mom badly, then they learn it’s ok to treat someone like that as well. So raising children that treat others well, then it’s important to live out our faith through the things we do, and the way we treat people.

3. Teach your children about The Lord

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 ESV And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

As parents, we have so many things on our plate and “things we need to do”. It’s easy to take our kids to church and let the church teach our children about who God is.

But that’s not what The Bible encourages us to do. Scripture tells us we should teach our kids diligently about The Lord. We need to share our faith and the things God has done for our lives.

It’s not always easy to take the time to teach our kids about God, but it’s as simple as reading the Bible and praying with them just once a day. In our house, we have a short devotion time after dinner.

4. Walk in a way worthy of God

1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 ESV For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

Think about the people that frustrate you the most. For me, that are people who say one thing and then do something else. This leads me to lose trust in them and I stop listing to what they have to say.

The same thing can happen with our kids. If we tell them to do something and we don’t do it, they might stop listing to us.

As humans, we all have moments of hypocrisy. Don’t let those moments discourage you. Admit your faults, ask your kids for forgiveness, and give your children the same chance to ask for forgiveness and try again.

A Father’s Intension

As parents, it’s important that we are intentional about what we say to our kids, what we do with them, and the way we live our lives. Everything we do, our kids see and store it in their memory.

The bible encourages us to be intentional, attentive and loving. These are not always easy to do, but something we can all do better at.

Proverbs 4:1-4 ESV Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 ESV If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; …

Dig Deeper

The Bible is really practical. There are so many things we can learn through reading it.

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Author: Anne Markey

Anne is a stay at home mother of 3 who has been married for more then 10 years. She loves the Lord and is passionate about helping women learn who they are in Christ and how to live a life that glorifies Him.

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