Home Features The Father After God’s Own Heart -Jackson Ekwugum

The Father After God’s Own Heart -Jackson Ekwugum

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The Father After God’s Own Heart

As we celebrate Father’s Day today, it is worthwhile to remind ourselves of our responsibilities as fathers.

Priests: As a father it is important that you understand that your first calling is to be the spiritual leader in the home; you are first a priest before you are a provider. Without the right teaching and proper guidance, many men tend to reverse the roles; they place less emphasis on their priesthood role, focussing all their attention on making money and providing for the family and abandoning the spiritual responsibilities to their wives. God said of Abraham: “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment;…” (Gen. 18:19). Notice that what delighted God about Abraham was his commitment to teach his children the commands and statutes of the Lord. Paul commanded fathers to bring up their children “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). The father, not the mother, should lead the way in Bible reading, prayer, worship and knowing the will of God for the family.

Provider: This is an area I think we all agree, except that we are now seeing a new generation of fathers who are content to cede this responsibility to their wives. It is a reversal of the divine order. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Tim 5:8). The point Paul is making here is that if unbelievers in their regenerate state are sensible enough to take care of their families, it would amount to bringing reproach to the name of the Lord for somebody who professes faith in Christ to abdicate his responsibility in this regard. In which case it makes him look worse than an unbeliever. Now, there may be times/seasons when a man will not be able to discharge this responsibility in which case the wife, if she is capable, will thankfully step in. But that should not be a permanent thing; the husband should keep praying for God to restore him back to his role as provider.

Protector: In drawing an analogy between the relationship of the husband and wife and the church and Christ, Paul writes that “Christ gave Himself for her” (Ephesian 6:25). To save His bride, the church, Christ died for her. That kind of sacrificial love is what God expects of a father; he must be willing to lay his life down for the safety, security, and protection of his family. The other day I read a very horrific story of a family that was kidnapped, and the wife offered herself to be violated by their kidnappers to secure the freedom of her husband and son. That man is as despicable as Lot who was ready to give his virgin daughters to be sexually abused instead of sacrificing himself.

Promise Keeper: Malachi 2:14 says: “Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.” A godly father is faithful to his wife and does not renege on his promises to his children. We pray and expect God to answer us because we believe He keeps His promises. A major factor that will help your children in their relationship with God is when you are trustworthy as a father. They find it easier to trust God because they relate with an earthly father who is a promise keeper.

Positive example: As a father you have a responsibility to live out the truth of God’s word before your family; you must be a role model. “… but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Tim 4:12). Several years ago, when my daughter was just five years old, I learnt the power of a good example. She and her eight-year-old brother accompanied a family to church because my wife and I had to go somewhere else. We were later told of an incident that happened while they returned home.

On their way home, this family, as was their custom, stopped by Mr Biggs to buy snacks and packet drinks for everybody. After each person finished eating, he/she wound down the car window and threw the trash on the street. As they continued further, the wife of the man wanted to find out if my children had not eaten their snacks. My daughter replied that they had. She then asked why they had not thrown out their trash. My daughter replied that her parents do not throw stuff out of the car on the road. As I was told, there was total silence in the car after that till they arrived the home of my friends. And as soon as they alighted from the car, my two children gathered up their trash and looked for the nearest bin to dispose of them. The interesting thing is that my wife and I never one day sat our children down to teach them not to throw trash on the road. Your children will do what they see you do, not what you say. That is the power of a good example.

Happy Father’s Day!