Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a tendency in the Christian community to encourage moms but burden dads. We praise the “Proverbs 31 women” but preach at dads about all the fatherhood failures of the Bible.
I get it. Fatherlessness plays a major role in the breakdown of the American family. Dads need to fulfill their crucial role in their kids’ lives. We ought to address these important issues of fatherhood, and several Christian leaders are doing a great job of speaking to dads. However, I want to encourage my fellow Christian men today.
So, let me say something that I don’t often hear. I think many Christian dads are doing a great job of loving their wives and parenting their kids. They’re setting a good example for their kids. Although no two dads are alike, God is revealing His fruit through their lives. Let’s consider the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23 and see how it may present itself in the life of a godly husband and father.
- Godly fathers show love.
While how we show and receive love differs, Christian men love the Lord and their families. How do we know what a man loves? Look at how he spends his time and money. The godly men I know do all they can to provide for their family’s needs. I’m not just talking about financial needs, but love is shown each time the father pays the mortgage and utility bills and buys food for his family.
- Godly fathers show joy.
All of this “provider” talk seems to be more of a burden than a blessing. A Christian home should be a joyful home. Dads, please don’t take yourself too seriously around your family. Laugh together! Enjoy each other! I mean, we created a whole division of comedy – dad jokes. Here’s a freebie for you. What did Baby Corn say to Mommy Corn? Where’s Pop Corn? I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist.
- Godly fathers show peace.
Biblically speaking, peace is closely linked with safety and security. It’s also tied to a sense of rest, calm and contentment. Godly men strive to make their joyful home a safe and secure place from all that would seek to destroy it. I’m not just talking about changing the batteries in the smoke detectors or guarding against robbers. There are many enemies to our family’s soul that threaten godly peace and rest. Point your family to the Prince of Peace, Jesus.
- Godly fathers show longsuffering.
“Longsuffering” is patience with people. Be patient with yourself, your wife and your kids. God is working in each of his followers to make us more like Jesus. This process is not complete until we go to be with Him. Until then, we will have to navigate relational difficulties. Do so with longsuffering.
- Godly fathers show gentleness.
“Gentleness” means kindness or benevolence. Jesus taught this same truth in Matthew 7:7-11. I once saw a pastor share a powerful illustration of this principle. He called up a volunteer and gave him one small M&M candy. He told the volunteer to be generous with the candy. What an impossible request! Joyfully, the pastor brought out buckets filled with M&M candies and began to pour them into the volunteer’s hands. It was much easier to be generous with such an abundant supply. When we consider the abundant spiritual supply we receive from the Lord, we can be generous with our families.
- Godly fathers show goodness.
“Goodness” is closely related to kindness, but it also carries the idea of doing what is right. Kids learn their moral values from their parents. Fathers play a crucial role in passing on moral values to their children. Maybe you didn’t have a great role model to follow and you’re a first-generation Christian husband and father. You have an opportunity to change your family by raising your kids in God’s truth and righteousness. What an awesome privilege!
- Godly fathers show faith.
This characteristic speaks loudly through our actions. When a crisis hits our home, will we respond with faith in God or will we let fear and anger drive us away from Him? This word also implies “faithfulness.” When COVID first hit, our churches were told to close. For a couple of weeks, our church had a skeleton crew of people in the church building as we led music and preached to a camera via live stream. One of our older deacons determined he wasn’t going to miss church. He didn’t make a big deal of it. He doesn’t have a social media account. He just showed up to worship Jesus each week like he always does. His actions taught me volumes about authentic faithfulness.
- Godly fathers show meekness.
Meekness doesn’t sound manly. You may think it means weakness or timidity, but that is not meekness. You may find it surprising that this same word is used to encourage Christ-like conflict resolution in Gal. 6:1 and 2 Timothy 2:25. The timid person would avoid conflict at all costs, but the meek will correct others with a spirit of loving gentleness. Fathers, find ways to build your young ones up instead of tearing them down – even when you correct them.
- Godly fathers show self-control.
Fathers who let their sensual desires drive their choices are not setting a godly example for their children. But we can set a good example in front of our kids by pursuing God instead of the flesh. Maintaining a strong relationship with God will produce self-control in you in ways your willpower can never do.
Remember, these nine qualities are the “fruit of the Spirit.” We do not have to strive hard to build these qualities in ourselves. Rather, they are the result of walking closely with God. This is part of the work He is doing in each believer who yields to Him. As the Heavenly Father transforms us from the inside out, we can be a positive example for our kids. Stay close to the Heavenly Father through reading His word, prayer, worship and service.
I’m thankful that God has let me cross paths with many men who have displayed the fruit of the Spirit and have set examples for me to follow. Some of these men do not have kids of their own, yet they have made a lasting impact on my life.
Heavenly Father, thank you for being a perfect Father to us. We ask you to bless each godly man today. We ask you to raise up another generation of godly men who will impact this world for eternity. In Jesus’ name, amen!
Happy Father’s Day!