Updated: Jun 21, 2021
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it
A mother is so important. She provides love, and nurture, and care. Her self-sacrifice and sleepless nights for her children last long after they are grown. Because of her importance, I think we sometimes forget how important a father’s role is. The influence of a dad is great! The father gives us our first impression of our Heavenly Father. Your child needs to understand that God loves him/her, is merciful and full of grace, but still requires obedience. That understanding will start with an earthly father who requires obedience tempered with mercy, teaches consequences, and is involved and not absent.
Our father also gives us our sense of identity. He is the leader, the burden bearer, the one who shields us and protects us. The night my grandfather died, I heard a sound I’ve never heard before or since. It was an eerie, heart wrenching howl. I went to the door to see what made such a noise. It was my dad, standing outside alone, expressing his deep grief. I saw my first husband sink into a depression when he lost his father. My oldest son has already told me he doesn’t know how he will go on when the day comes that he loses his papa.
Fathers and grandfathers and father figures do not provide the same kind of love and guidance a mother does, but what he provides is just as important. Statistics show that a child will continue to stay in church, will be more likely to come to Christ, if his father does. I heard once the greatest gift a father can give his child is to love and respect his mother. This is important. But it is the second greatest gift. The first greatest thing you can do for your child is to give him Jesus.
Understand that the enemy doesn’t just want to destroy church, but he also wants to destroy families because that is where we really learn about Christ. Maybe he can’t destroy your family, but can he distract you from making Christ the center of your life and the center of your family? Fathers, do you job!