by Shawn Brasseaux
Today is Father’s Day, so we dedicate this Bible study to godly men (specifically fathers).
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WHAT KING SOLOMON WROTE ABOUT FATHERS/MEN OF GOD
The book of Proverbs uses the phrase “my son” nearly two-dozen times. This is because Proverbs contains many sayings spoken from a parent’s perspective (either by David, or Solomon, and Solomon’s mother’s comments about the godly wife). Notice a few of these proverbs written by a father:
“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:…. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not…. My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:” (Proverbs 1:8,10,15 KJV).
Proverbs 2:1-5 KJV says:
“1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.”
Proverbs 3:1,2,19-23 KJV:
“1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee….
19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.”
“Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many…. My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings” (Proverbs 4:10,20 KJV).
“My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: that thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge” (Proverbs 5:1,2 KJV).
“My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:” (Proverbs 6:20 KJV).
“My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye” (Proverbs 7:1,2 KJV).
Proverbs 23:22,24,25 KJV:
“22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee….
24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.”
“My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways” (Proverbs 23:26 KJV).
“A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent” (Proverbs 15:5 KJV).
“The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother” (Proverbs 10:1 KJV).
Just as Proverbs records instructions that fathers give to their children, Proverbs instructs fathers to discipline their children when their children refuse to obey their father’s instructions.
“A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke…. He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes” (Proverbs 13:1,24 KJV).
“Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Proverbs 19:18 KJV).
“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell” (Proverbs 23:13,14 KJV).
“My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: for whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth” (Proverbs 3:11,12 KJV). (God repeats this to Israel in Hebrews 12:5-11).
“Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul” (Proverbs 29:17 KJV).
WHAT THE APOSTLE PAUL WROTE ABOUT CHRISTIAN FATHERS/MEN
Bishops and deacons were to be model citizens, men of exceptional character and actions. Notice what God through the Apostle Paul had to say about bishops and deacons, especially their fatherhood, as noted in 1 Timothy chapter 3 KJV:
“2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)….
12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.”
Compare that to Titus 1:5-9 KJV:
“5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
And finally Titus chapter 2 KJV:
“1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience….
6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
As the above passages teach, bishops and deacons—and all Christian fathers in general—need to discipline their children. Christian husbands-fathers are ordained of God to be spiritual leaders of the household. Ephesians 6:4 agrees with what Solomon wrote earlier: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Compare to Colossians 3:21 KJV: “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”
On one hand, the Christian father is to “bring [his children] up in the nurture of the Lord.” “Nurture” is simply defined as “caring for and encouraging their growth or development.” All too often, fathers (sadly) ignore this, usually being too rough, or even, apathetic (unconcerned). On the other hand, the Christian father is to “bring [his children] up in the admonition of the Lord.” “Admonition” is simply defined as “authoritative counsel or warning.” He is to lovingly guide them in life, instructing them from God’s Word rightly divided.
And finally 1 Thessalonians 2:11 KJV: “As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,….” Again, a father is to be both a leader of his children and an encouragement to his children: he is neither a tyrannical monster nor an unconcerned parent. He lovingly teaches his children the things of God.
Lastly, the father should also provide for his children and family, fulfilling their physical and material needs: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8 KJV).
Oftentimes, fathers are either too authoritative (very strict) or too carefree (little to no concern for their children). According to the Bible, fathers must have a balance between setting boundaries and enforcing them, and refraining from being a heartless tyrant. A father is not simply one who procreates. God’s Word makes it very clear that fathers should be more than just “sperm donors.” They should serve a lifelong, active role in their children’s lives. Fathers need to instruct their children in the Word of God rightly divided.
A Christian man, especially a father, should be a godly man in beliefs as well as in deed. He needs to set an example for his children (especially his sons): it is his duty as an older Christian man to set an example for younger men.
He should be a hard worker, he should meditate on the things of God (the Bible), his speech should conform to sound Bible doctrine, he should be hospitable and caring, kind and loving, he should respect and love his wife, he should love his children, and he should be reserved and cautious in his actions.
A Christian man need not try to meet the Bible’s standards of manhood/fatherhood in his own strength, for he cannot meet them in his own strength. In the person of Jesus Christ, God has equipped the Christian man to become a virtuous man, a man who values the things of God, and who places his faith in the Word of God.
When a Christian man and/or Christian father places his faith in this sound Bible doctrine, the indwelling Holy Spirit will then take that doctrine and transform him for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:13). His mind will be renewed by sound Bible doctrine, and that will transform his outward activity (Romans 12:1,2).
Are you a Christian man or Christian father who desires to be the man God intends you to be in Christ Jesus? Place your faith in this sound Bible doctrine, and God will take care of the rest! Then, you will become the godly man described on the pages of Scripture, thus bringing glory and honor to the great God and our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.
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