- A Father Affirms His Children.
32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”
Matthew 3:16-17 (Jesus’ Baptism)
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
John refers to Jesus’ baptism, but we have to look at the Synoptic gospels to really see the Father-Son relationship come out. In Matthew, for instance, when Jesus is baptized, his Father affirms him, saying “This is my Son! I love him! I am pleased with him!” This positive affirmation of children by their father helps give them emotional security all of their lives.
- A Father Works for His Children.
In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”
Work is an integral part of most all fathers. Adam was put into the Garden of Eden and given the task to work it—and this was before the curse. This shows that work is a fundamental part of the role and identity of fathers, and through this work, he helps provide for his children. Paul says that someone who does not provide for his family is worse than an unbeliever (1 Tim. 5:8). So the role that Fathers play in working and providing for their families is an honorable one.
- A Father Loves His Children.
For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.
John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
Love in the New Testament is not bereft of emotion. However, it transcends emotion and is characterized by acts which promote the health and well-being of someone else. Just as the Father in heaven loves the Son, so earthly fathers are called to love their children by seeking what is best for them, and making decisions that are best for the family.
- A Father Models for His Children.
Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
Jesus said that, as a Son, he can only do what he sees his Father doing. This principal applies to earthly fathers and children as well—which is a little scary, isn’t it? Fathers must set a good example in all that they do—in how they work, how they play, how they treat their wife, how they handle stress, how they handle finances, how they handle spiritual matters. On the positive side, being a good role model to one children’s can set them down the good path for the rest of their lives.
- A Father Teaches His Children.
So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.”
Being a good role model is great. Children pick up on what is said and done tremendously. But there is still a call for direct teaching by fathers. Jesus learned what he taught from his Father in heaven, and children learn from the teaching of their earthly fathers. Fathers, when you open your Bible or your children’s Bible and you share with them God’s word, you have a powerful impact upon their lives—and are imitating God the Father.
What other characteristics of God the Father do you see in good earthly fathers?