Day 6: Being a Godly Father December 10, 2018
8 Day Devotional Series for Men
Day 6: Being a Godly Father
By Nick Parker, Communications Pastor, CHRIST Church
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. -Genesis 1:3
How does one become a godly Father? The most insightful answer I can give is to emulate God. Be a godly father by imitating God the Father. Do what God does.
I speak as one aspiring to be a Godly father, not as one who has mastered the objective. I still have a long climb. Nevertheless, here are a few things I’m in the process of learning.
Let’s start at the beginning, literally, at the beginning – the first day of creation. Genesis 1:2, before the Father spoke, “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep”. His first act of creation was to speak light into darkness. In Genesis 1:3, “God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” Though you and I cannot speak physical objects and transcendental entities into existence like God, Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits”. Words are powerful. Words matter. Words have a spiritual correlation to life and mortality. Words bear fruit, good or bad.
Godly fathers understand these connections between words, light and life, darkness and death. And they understand the impact their words have on their kids. A child, the moment he or she is born, is without form and void; this is, without character, undisciplined, and spiritually dead (for any naysayers, put a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old in a room by themselves and see what happens). Though imperfect, earthly fathers have the unique role, as a reflection of God the Father, to speak life and light into their kids. Words can bring life, healing, and restoration. Proverbs 18:4 tells us, “a person's words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook”. Conversely, James 3:6 tells us that the primary instrument of words, the tongue, is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. In Genesis 49, Jacob, before his death, spoke over each one of his sons a blessing, and for the really bad ones, a consequence. Each blessing or consequence came to fruition. The point is, the words a father declares over his kids, positive or negative, bear fruit. They have power.
Developmentally, kids learn their concept of God the Father from their earthly fathers, no matter how present, absent, or disengaged. That said, fathers have the unique God ordained role, privilege, and responsibility of shaping their child’s concept of God, much like how God shaped the heights of heaven and the depths of the earth with His Words.
What does all of this mean? If I want to be a godly father, I must model my thoughts, actions, and words after the Father. It means I use my words to edify, encourage, comfort, correct, direct and redirect my kids. It means I am careful with my words. I don’t speak out of anger, frustration, malice, or envy. Proverbs 25:11, “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”
It means, I wrap my heart around God’s Word, because His Word is the only word that can first transform my heart followed by my words. Jesus, the Word, tells us in Matthew 12:34, “for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks'”. If my heart is a mess, my words will be a mess. So, I’ve got to be in the Word of Life to speak words of life.
Passages to Ponder
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. - Isaiah 5:11
But the Word of the Lord endures forever. - 1 Peter 1:25
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. - Proverbs 18:21
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. - Ephesians 4:29
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. - Colossians 4:6
Tells us, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” - Proverbs 15:1