Responsibilities of Fathers.06152013
Text: Proverbs 4
“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 3 For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.” Proverbs 4:1-4
Twenty-four times the phrase "my son" occurs in Proverbs. In all but one instance it is a father (David or Solomon) giving instruction to their sons. Here are just a just a few verses to give you a flavor of the advice given –
Proverbs 1:8 “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:”
Proverbs 1:10 “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”
Proverbs 3:11 “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:”
Proverbs 5:1 “My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:”
Proverbs 23:26 “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”
Proverbs 24:21 “My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:”
There are many good things that a father should teach his children from Proverbs.
Proverbs 4 points out some basic responsibilities for fathers.
· The father is responsible to provide instruction to his children
“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father…” v.1
Since children are directed to “hear” their father’s instruction, it should go without saying the father IS to guide and teach them. The Apostle Paul says, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
A. What Is To Be The Basis of guiding and teaching them?
The answer is found in verse 2 – “For I give you good doctrine….” Dads have the key responsibility for teaching their children doctrine, that is the Christian belief system. You need to teach them what you believe and tell them why your believe it and then live it in front of them!
It is NOT enough to just sent them to church or even take them to church. They MUST see faith in practice in your life!
Dad’s do your children see and hear you praying. Have you taught them to pray? Do they see you reading and studying the Bible? Do they hear you pray for lost souls or heard you tell of witnessing to someone?
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of you feeding your children the Scriptures and then encouraging them to be in the Scriptures themselves.
Turn to 2 Timothy 3:15-17 “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
If you are in the Word of God and you see that your children are in the Word of God their moral compass will be programmed by the Word of God.
A father is responsible to instruct his children. The cornerstone of the instruction is to be biblical Doctrine.
· The Father Is Responsible to Require Obedience
Proverbs 4:4 “He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.”
It is not enough to give commandments. You must require obedience and if obedience is not forthcoming, there needs to be consequences.
Proverbs 3:1 “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
It has been said that a Country that does not enforce its laws breeds lawlessness. Likewise, a father that does not enforce his laws breed rebellion. Certainly the command is “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” Colossians 3:20 And if they do obey, “Chasten thy son while there is hope…” Proverbs 19:18
Children who are left to themselves bring reproach and shame on their parents! Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”
· The Father Is Responsible To Motivate The Child
Proverbs 4:5-7 “Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
A father is to be a teacher! It takes time to be a teacher, but you need to teach your children practical things about life and living! Manners, personal hygiene, how to behave in different situations. The “how to” list: How to ride a bike. How to use tools. How to swim, hunt, fish, how to treat others, etc. Guys need to learn how to treat a lady and what to look for in a wife. Girls need to learn how to behave properly and what to look for in a husband.
Further, a father promotes right education! When my granddad was young 8th grade was enough. When my dad graduated, high school was enough. I am here to tell you, you need training beyond high school in either a trade or college.
· The Father Is Responsible To Teach Right Direction
Proverbs 4:14-19 “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.”
Mrs. Brown and I would use life examples to teach righteousness and to illustrate the end of wickedness.
· A Father Is Responsible To Teach Right Speech
Proverbs 4:24 “Put away from thee a forward [deceitful; distorted] mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.”
“What is in the well of the heart will come up through the bucket of the mouth.” A dad must be sure he speaks with integrity, not deceitfully or in a foul, slanderous way.
· A Father Is Responsible To Teach The Child To Think
Proverbs 4:26-27 “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”
You need to teach your children common sense! Teach them NOT to make decisions based on emotions. Teach them to think through situations. What are the positives? What are the negatives? What are the long range implications? Far too many people are impulsive and make wrong decisions because they have no idea how to reason properly.
I am praying for you dads! Your children need you. Take these responsibilities seriously.