Over the years, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand the effects of dads on countless children. I’ve known small children who relish in the delight of their dad’s love and grown adults who still carry around wounds their father’s inflicted on their souls when they were young.
In honor of Father’s Day, I want to throw out there three passions I have seen in godly dads. If you are a dad, this is my challenge to you. If your dad was like this, I want to encourage you to text (or call) him and let him know how thankful you are for his legacy in your life.
Godly dads are passionate about their kids
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
I love this imagery! A godly dad sees his children as a heritage, a reward, and a source of pride. He knows his job is to tend to them, do his best to make sure they fly straight, and to eventually release them from his hand.
Imagine the care that would have gone into hand-crafting each arrow. Small sticks would have to be gathered, carved, and sanded just perfectly, the tip would have to be forged from iron and balanced, the feathers would have to be secured just right and at a precise angle. Hours of construction and testing (shooting the arrow into a target to make sure it flies right) would all build up to the moment this warrior was face to face with his enemies at the gate.
In that moment, he knew he only had one shot to shoot his arrow and he needed to be confident it would fly true.
A godly dad does the same with his children. He is passionate about forming them and testing them (which means letting them face difficult situations and people in increasing measures), and he is confident to let them go when the time is right.
Godly dads are passionate about their wives
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. – Ephesians 5:25–27
Kids are always watching their dads and moms interact. Boys learn how to treat their future wives and girls learn what type of man they should marry by seeing how dad treats mom.
The biblical picture of a godly man is one who gives himself up for his wife, cares for her, and constantly presents her “to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.” Does that mean his wife is perfect? No! The Church isn’t perfect, but Jesus cares for her so much that He presents her to Himself as if she is. That’s what a godly dad does for his wife.
Godly dads are passionate about their God
Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. – Joshua 24:14–15
Standing before the nation of Israel, Joshua declares where his family’s passion would lie: with their God. They weren’t going to serve any other gods, but with sincerity and faithfulness they were going to serve, worship, and follow the God that their fathers had served, worshipped, and followed.
His entire family followed his lead, as well as the entire nation of Israel.
In our culture today, we need dads who will stand for the Gospel of Jesus amidst increasing opposition. Our kids will learn from us what it looks like to serve the one true God amongst a myriad of competing world-views. It’s a tall task, but be confident in the knowledge that you were hand-picked by God for your kids and He loves them even more than you do. He loves them so much, He sent His own Son to die for them.
The greatest thing you can do for your kids is to introduce them to this loving Father.
Happy Father’s Day!