Let me speak to you as men. If you are a man, you will not shy from this challenge. If you are still a little boy, you will probably whine a little bit after the following:
The relationship between a father and his child is the picture the Bible gives us of the human relationship with God the Father. When fathers raise their sons and daughters in godliness, they model the relationship that God desires to have with all of his creation.
When fathers demonstrate authority in their home, they model to their children the kind of authority that God has. A father too scared to discipline his child in love models for his child a weak and careless God.
When fathers love their children, they demonstrate God's love. When fathers ignore their children and fail to show them affection, they model for their children a cold and unloving God.
When fathers are faithful to their wives, they demonstrate to their children that God is faithful; that he will never leave nor forsake his children. When fathers are unfaithful, they are teaching their children that God will fail.
When fathers teach their children, they demonstrate that God has spoken. He has spoken to his children, through creation, and specifically through his word. When fathers are silent, they teach their children that God is silent.
When fathers work hard for their families, they demonstrate for their children that God is always at work taking care of his creation. A father who does not work hard models for his family a lazy and complacent God.
When fathers are honest and dependable before their children, they model that God is truthful and dependable and that there is nothing false in him. A father full of lies teaches his children that God cannot be trusted.
Fathers teach children more about the nature of God than anyone else. Even if you do not teach your children by your words, you will teach them with your life. So many children have run from faith in God because, even though they were taken to church, in their home they were modeled a God who was weak, cold, unfaithful, silent, lazy, and undependable.
No one wants to follow a God like that.
God charges fathers to model a Heavenly Father to all of his little boys and girls. Fathers, please do not take this charge lightly. If you fail at this, you will be counted a failure.
Jason Dees is pastor of First Baptist Church of Covington. Learn more at http://www.fbctoday.net/