Seeing that I did a Mothers Day version on Mothers Day it’s only natural that I do one for the Fathers on Father's Day right?Well, here goes!
There are many fathers in the Bible but whether some are good or not is left for interpretation. I will share what I learnt studying some of the fathers in the Bible.
Exodus 18: 9- 25
Jethro was a good father in law who saw Moses as one of his own. He brought his daughter and grandchildren to Moses and it was during this visit that he observed what Moses was doing. He saw that Moses was stretching himself thin and that it would not be conducive in the long run. Instead of keeping this observation to himself he advised Moses who also wisely took it on. There are so many thing to learn here but I will mention a few.
How many father -in- laws will visit their children, notice something but say nothing? How many only notice the ‘bad’ things that their son/daughter in law is doing and only talks to say how they are not up to scratch? How many are one sided in their judgement of home affairs and feel that their child is right by default? How many actually even see their son/daughter in law as their own and not just an in law?
Now, how many would actually have a relationship where they can advise their son or daughter- in- law? Not just a relationship built on culture but one where there is actually dialogue to the point that your son/daughter- in-law actually heeds the advice you give them because they know your intentions pure?
These are all food for thought. If marriage is in God’s plan for your child then you will be a father- in- law one day. Take a leaf from Jethro’s book and be the right one.
Isaac and Jacob
Why have I put both of them together? Well, they both had the generational problem of favoritism; they proffered one child to the others. I will start with Isaac.
Genesis 25:27-28; Genesis 27:1-41
Isaac’s family was dysfunctional as both parents had their favorite child. This cannot have been a good atmosphere to grow up in. Esau was Isaac’s favorite and he planned on giving him a double portion of blessing on his deathbed. He preferred Esau because he was also a wild man who liked to hunt just like he did. This is important to note as favoritism can arise due to one child sharing a particular interest that you too like. Naturally you may feel a closer affinity to that child but it should in no way result to favoritism. If anything you should take extra care to ensure that your love is evident for all your children regardless of whether they have the same passions as you do.
Genesis 29:15-31 ; Genesis 30:22-24; Genesis 37:1-2
Jacob had a favorite who was Joseph but his reasons were different. As we know Joseph was born of Rachel who was the wife that Jacob loved the most. She had a delay in childbearing and once she conceived I can imagine that Jacob was over the moon. Joseph was not his first child however as he pretty much had a football team with Leah. None of this mattered however as once Joseph was born Jacob saw nobody else. In fact, he even made a technicolor coat for just Joseph which must have endeared him to his brothers no doubt.
A key point here is that Jacob was born from the woman he loved the most. Why does this matter now? Well, nothing new is under the sun and in this day and age there are many blended families. Another family dynamic could be a father having more than one baby mother (I’m not keen on the term but it’s the only word I can use). Maybe a man could’ve had a child with woman A and the relationship breaks down and ends on bad terms. They manage to co-parent. Just about.
Some years pass and he meets woman B who he loves a whole lot and ends up marrying her and they have children together. Subconsciously or otherwise if he is not careful he may begin to be indifferent to the child he had with Woman A whilst lavishing all his attention on the children he has with woman B. It’s not so much the child he has an issue with but the mother, woman A and this may roll over into how he treats that child.
If you are father who has children with different women take care to show love equally to all of them. Even if they are not all under the same roof there are ways that you can show that you love them. Leave no impression that you favour one child to another due to their mum or otherwise. Children are innocent and should not bear the brunt of the decisions that you made.
Hmm. I don’t know the meaning of his name but deceitful would not be off the mark; Laban was a con artist. He was crafty, mean and a liar. I mean he strung Jacob along for 14 good years! Whilst it can be said that Jacob was getting his own dish served to him (he deceived Esau) it does not take away from the fact that Laban was mean.
I don’t believe that such wickedness grew overnight and came only when Jacob arrived; he must have shown such signs before then. I wonder how he treated his daughters. His workers. His wife. What example was he showing his children? We see later on in Genesis 31: 30-35 that Rachel also lies when she hides the idols of her father.
As a father you may not attain the levels that Laban did in wickedness but are you mean in other ways? Are you nasty to your wife or mother of your child(ren)? Do you really think that your children won’t pick up on such behaviour? Are you deceitful? Do you keep to your words or you backtrack more times than a broken record? Stop it. Be better. Do better. His grace is sufficient.
I know some will say that Joseph was chosen to be the earthly father of Jesus but let us focus on why he was chosen. He must have displayed attributes that made him the right candidate for the role. Does it mean he was perfect? No. We see snippets of his character in the way that he treated Mary. When he found out she was pregnant he did not want to disgrace her publicly. Even in her ‘shame’ he wanted to part ways quietly. This speaks of a man of integrity. He must have been pained especially as he did not yet know that it was an immaculate conception but he did not react in anger. We see later on that an angel appears to him to set the record straight. Thank God he listened. When Jesus was born Joseph recognised that he was a steward of Jesus and that ultimately He belonged to God. When you think about it that is what you are as a father; a steward of the child(ren) that God has entrusted you with. They are not in your care for them to follow or live out the dreams that you were not able to; They are here to fulfill their God given purpose. Do not stand in the way of that.
Being a father is not easy but it can be made easier with the help of the Holy Spirit. Include Him in your parenting and watch your children blossom. Forget what society has to say- fathers are very much needed. I pray that you be type of father to your child(ren) that God is to us.