Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Blessed Gift & Duty of Godly Fathers
Geoffrey R. Kirkland

Godly fathers are gifts from the Lord. I thank the Lord for my father, a man of God, who early on for me modeled holiness, church involvement, integrity of character both inside and outside the home, and hard work. My father has taught me -- and still is teaching me -- much about faithfulness, endurance, perseverance, sobermindedness, and trust in the Lord. Godly fathers are blessed gifts to families and these fathers also have an unspeakably important duty from the Lord. I’ll just list four duties of godly fathers.

Lead.
Fathers must lead. They must lead in the home. They must lead as men who do not forcefully or authoritatively demand submission or things to be done their way. Rather, they lead as stewards; that is, as men who have been given a grace-gift and a divine-calling from God to lead by serving the people in their home (and, in every sphere of life they’re in). In fact, the best way to lead is by following. That is, lead others by following Christ. The fervency with which a man of God follows His Savior sets a worthy example for others to emulate. Godly men must lead. He follows the example of other men of God in Scripture, in his church and strives to practically serve, tangibly provide, spiritually shepherd, and consistently love his family.

Repent.
It’s humbling to repent. And yet when the Spirit of God reveals our sin and we understand where we’ve sinned, where we’ve failed, where we’ve been selfish, and where we’ve spoken rashly or impulsively, it’s crucial for men of God to repent in the home. In fact, a great way to lead in the home is by repenting in the home. Even if another person is also at fault, godly men can take the initiative in repenting first. Perhaps there’s conflict or a great disagreement in the home, the penitent man will come humbly and repent where needed by specifically asking for forgiveness and seeking to reconcile. When he sins, however public or private, he seeks to keep short accounts with the Lord and with those in his life.

Prioritize.
In a society with so many options for distractions, entertainments, and time-wasters, the mature Christian man will prioritize those things that God calls him to invest in. For instance, he will keep watch over and diligently guard his soul. This will manifest itself in frequent bible reading and prayer times. He will also faithfully love and shepherd his wife as his foremost priority in this life as he knows they have a permanent union that is to emulate the relationship of Christ and actively involvement in his local church. He will care for, instruct, and spend time with the children that God has entrusted to him. The focused man on biblical priorities will not neglect his family at home for work, or friends, or sports, or entertainments. None of these are bad, but this mature man keeps these activities in their rightful place. He prioritizes family worship, his local church, intercessory prayer, and caring for his wife’s needs and his children’s souls.

Pray.
Godly men prioritize prayer and commit themselves to prayer. This godly father will pray fervently, privately, publicly, daily, and expectantly. He knows the Lord will hear the prayers of the godly man and so this drives him to great prayers. Indeed, the godly father knows God is omnipotent and that his prayers reach the ear of the enthroned almighty King. He prays for his own heart and purity. He prays for his wife and for his children (and, grandchildren). He prays for those he interacts with (at his employment, sports, hobbies). He longs for his neighbors to come to Christ. When a great day is closing, he leads his family in prayers of thanksgiving and worship. When trials strike and pains penetrate, he gathers with the family to trust in the Lord by calling upon His name for strength, endurance, and joy in the midst of the trial. Joy floods his heart at the mercy seat where he communes with God for his family.

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