My Dad, My Mentor!

Deb Goolsby

"Direct your children onto the right part, and when they are older, they will not leave it."  Proverbs 22:6

The Bible gives dads an important role in leading their families spiritually.  There are several instructions to teach and lead their children in the ways of God.  In Ephesians 6:4 it says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them.  Rather bring them up with the discipline and in instruction that comes from the Lord.”  Much of Proverbs is instructing fathers in how to direct and teach their children.  This does not exclude moms.  Proverbs 1:8 says, “My child, listen when your father corrects you.  Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction”.  Dads, the well-being of your children is your responsibility, including their spiritual well-being. 

"He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him.”  I Timothy 3:4

Your concern for your children must begin from the earliest days.

There’s a lot involved in the spiritual provision and leadership of our families.  It is more than just reading the Bible and taking them to church and Sunday School.  Yes, those are very important, but it’s also a lifestyle of modeling and instructing, and disciplining and encouraging our children.

My father turns 85 years old TODAY and he did just this for this 3 children.  My dad continues to be a great role model for our spiritual growth.  He was (and continues to be) a godly example.  Growing up, weekly family times were set by my father and my mother.  My father made it a priority to attend church each week.  We learned to respect our Sunday worship.  There was a time when his job wanted him to work on Sundays.  He refused, at the risk of losing his job, to show his family the importance of that respect for not working on Sunday.  (Yes, there was time when we did not work on Sundays)

My father did and continues to model prayer, no matter where we are.  At each meal, I still hear him saying, “Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, to us be blessed.  Amen”.

I know my dad loves me (mom does too) and with that love came discipline and correction as a child.  (I know I was a challenge!)   Secure and loving relationships are the best context for learning, especially the hard lessons through his discipline and correction.

"Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever for our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how.  But god’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.   No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening – it’s painful!  But afterwards there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”  Hebrews 12:9-11

Just as I was an apprentice in life and in faith with my earthly father, you, too, have apprentices in your house that learn from you and are watching you.  Think of what you can do today, dad or mom, to enrich your children in learning respect for their spiritual journey.  Remember, you are also on this journey with them.

And, one last thing, Happy Birthday, Dad!  I love you!


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