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Archive for Sunday, June 10, 2012

Faith Forum: What are the best biblical lessons about being a good father?

June 10, 2012

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Barry Watts, associate pastor of Lawrence Heights Christian Church, 2321 Peterson Road:

The greatest lesson is love.

It is written, “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The love spoken of is unconditional, unwavering and unchanging. It is not an emotional love, but a love of choice and action. Love is part of God’s character. So much so that 1 John 4:8 declares, “God is love.”

There is another key lesson to learn from God’s character and actions. God, as part of his love for us, is a god of discipline. Hebrews 12:6-11 says, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.

Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.

Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Discipline is an important instrument of God, and is a crucial part of being a good father.

There are 25 other words from Scripture describing God that should be a model for earthly fatherhood. In no particular order, they are: creator, sustainer, provider, protector, teacher, helper, discipline, sacrifice, love, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, self-control, grace, mercy, encouragement, listen, truthful, trustworthy, faithful, attentive, joy-giver, caring and guiding.

I love my father, and he loves me.

— Barry Watts can be reached at barrygwatts@gmail.com.

Pieter Willems, senior pastor at Mustard Seed Church, 700 Wakarusa Drive:

The best biblical lessons about being a father come from learning who God is.

God is first a father and repeatedly refers to himself as a father. Likewise he refers to us as his children. So, when we look at God, we can begin to get a picture of what it means to be a good father.

God is love (1 John 4:16). So a father should be motivated by love when he relates to his children. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us what love looks like: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” That should keep us challenged as fathers.

God’s love also is not permissive or passive. He wants what is best for us down the road and, as such, will discipline us for our good (Heb. 12:10).

As earthly fathers we should have a long-term view for our children’s lives. Always giving them what they want when they want it is not good fathering. We have to be able to say no and explain why we are saying no.

Discipline undergirded with love makes a good father.

— Email Pieter Willems at pwillems@mustardseedchurch.com.

Comments

tange 1 year, 10 months ago

Hey, Sunshine, almost missed your reply, as I generally only see what pops up on the front page (in the Popular list). Found this via my comment history. Anyway...

Nice Charles/Cocker selection (playing in another tab as I type).

Got to spend several hours with my son, this afternoon, catching up on that hell-in-a-hand-basket-race-to-a-finish-line-with-no-bottom series, Breaking Bad. Spent our last hour before he had to leave for work just talking... determinism and free will... compartments and dimensionality... possibility and potential... understanding and compassion... good times. For all the things presently lacking in his life, he certainly seems to have the right stuff.

Gotta agree with you re: that LJW auto deCAP feature, though, and why DOES the proofreader only seem to become functional AFTER a comment has been posted? Must be a browser thing.

Oh, and my Thomas post—discovered it the moment before I pasted it into that field, above. Interestingly, it echoes Darin's opening sentiment.

And a Happy Significant Other's Day to you, as well.

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 10 months ago

Dear LJW....We need you to "fix something" so that the letters we capitalize come out THAT WAY when posted. Please. Several of us would appreciate it, I know. Thx.

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 10 months ago

Hi tange...thanks for reminding me (all of us) that there is so much more "out there" than we can even imagine with our thoughts, oh, so finite...and any knowledge we may think we have...all finite...

Joe Cocker is one of my all-time favorites. Thanks for the input...the sax is awesome!! Here's another of my favorites: http://youtu.be/gffIRHTGVac Hope you enjoy!!

I decided many, many moons ago that Sky Gods and Spaghetti Monsters were not to be a part of my life. I've never regretted that decision and it's been a l-o-n-g time. I think you know about that...

What I do regret today is rushing through these posts and not "editing"...having them printed out in their first stage of conception and then noticing glaring mistakes...I really, truly am rushing through this...people are actually waiting for me and wondering...but my heart is no less in what I am posting than if I had all the time in the world.

My thoughts are with all you terrific Dads...as the old saying goes, anyone can be a Father...it takes a very special man to be a Dad. So, please forgive my typos and know that what you Dads are deriving from my writings come straight from my heart on this Father's Day weekend!!

Again, tange, love the Joe Cocker song...I'm also very familiar with the Gospel of St. Thomas...very interesting, yes?? Really have to leave now...maybe I can check back in later on...

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, Y'ALL!!!! :~)

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tange 1 year, 10 months ago

The Gospel of Thomas...

[3] Jesus said: If those who lead you say: Behold! the Kingdom is in heaven; then the birds of the heaven will precede you. If they say unto you: It is in the sea, then the fish will precede you. But the Kingdom is within you, and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then shall you be known, and you shall know that you are the sons of the living Father. But if ye do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and you are poverty.

http://tinyurl.com/d49pwfc

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/thomas.html

/ so much for Sky Gods and Spaghetti Monsters

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 10 months ago

Ahhhh...Father's Day...here's a song for all the wonderful, loving Dads out there who take the time to be a truly awesome earthly Fathers, which, in turn, points the way for your children to our Heavenly Father. Your example of unconditional love and sacrifice never goes unnoticed by those of us who are the recipients of such a splendid childhood. I was taken aback by this song (and the photos) when I heard it for the first time...and it is still a part of my soul. Although this rendition is directed from Father to daughter, it still applies to all the sons, as you'll see. There are other artists (a few of my favorites) who perform this song, but I chose this version because it speaks to my heart and my soul as none of the others do. Simply exquisite...

So, Happy Father's Day to the really great men out there who deserve far more than any of us are able to bestow upon you...you deserve the world for being "Dad"!! You are loved. http://youtu.be/K5YFX7jCGjc

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Waddetreestudio 1 year, 10 months ago

"My dad taught the parable of the talent -an example of value

 Discoverying your talents that foster self worth -high self esteem.
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