Bible Verses about Fathers

As the holy text for billions of Christians all over the world, the Bible offers comfort, correction, and counsel on a number of subjects. In many cases, the text refers to God as Father, implying the strength of the connection between the Creator and the creation. Within this context, men are often counseled to be the kind of fathers that mirror the love that God shows to all His children, both in terms of upholding them in adversity, and in correcting them when they are in need of correction.

The nature of fatherhood and its responsibilities are made apparent early in the Old Testament. For example, the first chapter of Deuteronomy offers a glimpse into just how far the Lord will go to support His children in love. Verses twenty-nine through thirty-one of that chapter not that the Lord goes before His children, fighting for them, and even carrying them in times of adversity, much like a father carries his son when the need arises.

Psalms is loaded with examples of what it takes to be a father. A simple illustration is found within Psalm 103, where the compassion of the Lord is compared to the compassion that a father has for his children. The underlying intent is that a father must always be approachable, even when the child feels that something has occurred to drive a wedge between the two. By demonstrating compassion, the father helps to create a framework through which reconciliation can take place, much like the way God has created ways for His children to repent and return to His warm embrace.

Part of being a father means employing discipline when it is in the best interests of the child. In Proverbs, there are a number of passages where the counsel is to not pull away (or despise) the discipline and rebuke of God. Proverbs 3:11-12 is particularly specific, in that the counsel is to accept the rebuke and the discipline of the Lord, because that discipline and rebuke are based on the unconditional love of God, just as a rebuke and discipline from a father is based on the parent’s desire to protect and love his child.

In the New Testament, powerful words about the relationship between a father and son are found in the example of Jesus as he prays to the Father, as recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John. Here, the reader sees a son who has done what the father has asked, and is now preparing for the resolution. Jesus pours His heart out to the Father, sharing both His fears and His hopes for those who will be left behind. For fathers, here is an important lesson in being approachable to their children at all times, being their for them to share whatever is weighing on their hearts, and being able to do so without holding anything back.

The New Testament also contains passages that provide direct counsel to fathers in how to interact with their children. The book of Ephesians not only reiterates the responsibility of the child to honor the parents, but also calls for fathers to not put stumbling blocks in the way of their children as they grow up. One example is found in the sixth chapter, fourth verse where fathers are told to not exasperate their children, but to teach them in the instruction of the Lord.

In like manner, the book of Colossians admonishes fathers to take care to motivate the children to do that which is good. Colossians 3:21 specifically instructs fathers to conduct themselves in a manner that does not embitter the children, and discourage them from being everything they can be. I Thessalonians 2:11-12 reminds fathers that comfort, exhortation, and charging children with duties is part of being a good father.

Throughout the text of the Bible, many examples of fatherhood appear. Some point to how not to be a good father, while others point to how to help children grow in the love and appreciation of God, and how to help children cultivate their spiritual gifts. For men who are about to become fathers, or for fathers who are in need of some guidance in how to deal with their children, reading through a number of these examples, and identifying those positive aspects that will be in the best interests of their children, can help to trigger ideas on how to face any parenting situation, and handle it with the right mixture of compassion, love, correction, and discipline.


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