The Task Of A Father

Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.  —Ephesians 6:4

What admirable quality is common to marmosets, siamangs, sea horses, and jacanas? Here are your clues. Marmosets are squirrel-size monkeys. Siamangs are members of the ape family. Sea horses aren’t really horses. And jacanas are robin-size wading birds, sometimes called “lily trotters” because their long toes allow them to walk across water on lily pads.

Your time is up. Here’s the answer I’m looking for: The male of each of these species takes care of its young.

I wish this could be said of all Christian fathers about the spiritual nurture of their children. Dads have a wonderful opportunity to encourage, to warn, to teach, to counsel, and to model the Christian life for them. It’s significant that Moses’ instruction in Deuteronomy 6 was directed toward fathers. Verse 7 especially spells out one task of a father—to teach his children.

This sounds like Paul’s statement in Ephesians 6:4. He said that fathers should rear their children “in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Christian fathers who do this will distinguish themselves from other dads and will be obedient to God’s will. Oh, that our children would be nurtured by moms and dads who love the Lord!

Mart De Haan

Fathers, give your children guidance
And instruction from God’s Word;
Then with wisdom and compassion
Teach them how to love the Lord.


A Christ like example is a father’s greatest gift to his children.


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