Father Knows Best

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A good strong example of a family leader would be Joshua in the Bible. He was a true spiritual leader and a strong man of God. He was not one to let the circumstances of the outside world convince him of defeat. Because of his strong leadership and convictions, everyone looked up to him as a father figure. Everyone but him and a few others were cut short and fell in the wilderness journey because they would not obey and follow God's instructions. Even today we still fall short of who we will serve. Idols have been and still are a major downfall in our success and failures. That is why Joshua told the people to choose whom they would serve. If they chose to serve the idols that their father's served, then they should be prepared for God's wrath. But, his advice was, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Josh. 24:15

This was a strong stand that he took and stood by. If father's today would make that kind of commitment our society would not be in the mess that it's in today. Without a strong head of household, everyone does just what they want and ends up getting hurt.

A father's role is to lead. Joshua told the people (Josh. 24:14) to fear the Lord. There is a reason for that. It is the foundation for a strong Christian household, and it is the first thing children should learn. (Prov. 1:7) "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction." According this, I guess there are alot of fools running around today because wisdom and instruction are ignored. Children today aren't afraid of any kind of authority. But for a home that is functional, the family reveres God. We are taught to fear God in the Old Testament, but the New Testament teaches faith in God. He is afterall a loving Father. We need to recognize this. It's important for parents to take time with their children to read them the Bible and pray, if only for a few minutes a day.

Joshua also told the people to serve God and put aside all other false gods. This teaches children to be different. In today's society, we are so caught up in the secularism of advertising and the world media that we consider ourselves as individuals as long as we look like everyone else and have the same things. Truth is, there is no indivuality, everyone is too afraid to be unique. Our false idols are all around us, it's whatever we put ahead of God. Children don't realize that their uniqueness is what God created for them to be, not to be like everyone else. But today it's all about acceptance.

A father must demand to lead and make the decisions. Again just like Joshua said, (Josh. 24:15) "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." This was not an option. But if it seems evil to serve God, then it's important for you to make that decision on your own. Jesus said in Mt. 12:30 that everyone will serve some kind of god. People have a hard time making decisions because it holds them to a choice, but the fact of the matter is, when you don't make a decision either here nor there, that is a decision. But remember, no one can serve 2 masters (Mt. 6:24) You must take a stand on who you will serve. Joshua said, (24:15) that you must choose for yourself, no one can do that for you.

It's the father's role to be held accountable for the spiritual growth in his household. He must make the choice for the family. Tomorrow may never come. A father's strong choice of who his family will serve may determine everyone's eternal destiny. If a father allows his children to make their own decisions in this matter, they will of course choose the secular world because it pleases the self, and admit it, children are selfish at nature.

Look around you, most dysfunctional homes are because there is no strong leadership of a father. It's not sending your children to church, it's taking them yourself that will build up the family in faith. A family life will never be able to rise above the leadership of the father. If the father's leadership is weak, that family will also be a weak link for future generations. How else will our children learn important family values unless they are instilled at an early age from their fathers?

God wants fathers to model themselves after Him, not to be a god unto themselves. God's attributes are ones of Love, Patience, Understanding, Commitment, Strength, Kindness, Humility, Humbleness, Forgiveness etc. This is what God wants father's to be like. A man of God should have strong shoulders to support his children who can admit they are afraid. He can also admit that he is not in himself perfect, but through Christ has been made perfect. A good father doesn't demand perfection from his children because after all, God doesn't expect us to be perfect either. All He wants is our obedience.

Just as Joshua knew that he had to set the pace for future generations and make the decision, so fathers today need to take that very same action. It's wasn't up to the children to follow God, it was up to Joshua to set that example for them. Just as in Joshua's day, it must still hold true today that children must learn to follow rules that are set before them as long as they are living under your roof.

"One that rules well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man knows not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)" 1 Tim. 3:4-5 (NKV)

If you are a dad or know of one, please take time to consider this message in strengthening your own family. Take a firm stand on the values you are setting for your children. What kind of example are you showing them for their future? God has put a valuable and important role on you in this life. How well are you achieving it?

Next month we honor our dad's for Father's Day. What do you consider to be honorable? Think how God sees you as a role model for His children. Can you be trusted?

Vivian Gordon an inspired follower of Christ who loves to bring the Word of God to light and make others understand His love for them is real. We all have a choice to make in this life for the one that is to follow. In writing these articles, may they lead you to the right choice, which is eternal life.

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