It has been said that Father’s Day is just like Mother’s Day except you spend less on the gift! All humor aside, society has sadly downplayed the importance of a father in the home. Too many children are being raised without their fathers in their lives. And too many fathers who are still in the same home with their children are not active enough in their families’ lives.
Fathers are to be the providers of the family (Gen. 3:17-19; 1 Tim. 5:8). This is an awesome task. Proverbs 20:6 states, “Most men will proclaim their goodness, but who can find a faithful man?” We could easily paraphrase that to “who can find a faithful father?” What must a faithful father provide for his family?
A faithful father provides for the physical needs of the family (2 Cor. 12:14; Matt. 7:9-10). By the way, besides the obvious (food, clothing, shelter, etc.), our children need our time as well. The greatest physical thing we can give our children is ourselves.
A faithful father provides for the spiritual direction of the family (Eph. 6:4; Isa. 38:19). Fathers, we need to take the spiritual lead and guide our families toward heaven. They also need to see in us people who are serious about honoring and serving God properly.
A faithful father provides for the proper discipline of the family (Heb. 12:7, 11; Pro. 13:24). There are many effective forms of discipline, and a faithful father knows that proper and timely discipline will yield the fruit of righteousness.
A faithful father provides sympathetic understanding to all the members of the family (Col. 3:21; Psa. 103:13). We need to express our love, communicate with, and show compassion to our children. They need to see our “ears” and our “tears” from time to time.
While fathers upon the earth may fail in these areas from time to time, we need to remember that God, our heavenly Father, is perfect (Matt. 5:48). And as such, He provides for His children perfectly. He provides for our physical needs (Matt. 7:11), He provides for our spiritual direction (Psa. 73:24), He provides for us proper discipline (Heb. 12:5-6), and He provides sympathetic love and compassion (Psa. 86:3,5,15).
This Father’s Day, express your appreciation to your earthly father. But every day, express your appreciation to your Heavenly Father who provides us with all we need.