Fathers, what are you wanting in a relationship with your children? Now, I'm not talking to the father whose heart is not turned to the Lord, for often what a lot of men in that condition want is to be relieved of the responsibility of their children. Selfishness and self-centeredness often leads men to care far more about themselves than their children. The godly father, though, is clearly represented in this passage. Let's take a look today and learn wisdom from him.
First of all, the godly father is involved in teaching his children. It is important to see this because too often dads leave imparting spiritual wisdom to their children to their wives - and to the Sunday school teacher and youth pastor. Let me say something as strongly as I can at this point. "DAD, YOU CANNOT BE REPLACED IN THIS MATTER!" Your children absolutely need your imput into their lives. They need a godly father to impart God's wisdom to them. I know at this point a lot of fathers panic and think to themselves, "What would I even teach them?" How about Proverbs? How about the 10 commandments? How about just reading to them the sermon on the mount? Just read some and let them ask you questions.
Listen to the godly father here. He says to his children, "Let your heart hold fast my words." What a great thing to say to your kiddos. Teach them the Word - read it to them - and then afterward say to them that what you want more than anything else in the world is their heart. You want them to hold fast the Words of God that you read to them. Impart to them a heart that wants to hold your words close. Impart to them a heart that wants to obey God and follow Him. These are things that only you can give your chlidren - and if you don't - not even the best children's ministry and youth ministry in the world can replace you!
The godly father also tells his children that they need to keep the commandments - to guard them - to watch over them and desire to obey them. Then tell your children that if they keep God's Word - which will be the word you share with them - they will live! Let them know what REAL living is - it is living out God's Word and living to bring honor and glory to Him!
Dads! hear me well - and hear God's Word. The godly father wants his children's hearts! He wants them to be drawn to the ultimate Father whose wisdom will bless them and help them to live a life like no other. Follow the example of this godly father in Scripture. Speak the things of the Lord to your children - make this a priority. You cannot be replaced in this role. Others may fulfill it in your absence - but know this - it will be most effective when it comes from you. No one else will have the impact and the power you will have when you do this. So many bemoan the problems of our world and wonder what it will take to bless a generation of children coming up. I can tell you what can turn us in one generation . . . fathers . . . godly fathers . . . godly fathers who speak the Word to their children - and do so to gain their hearts. They gain their hearts so that they can transfer them to the ultimate Father - Who can take our children and lead them all the days of their lives.