by Shawn Brasseaux
What is a “Spirit-filled father?” Remember “Spirit-filled” does not refer to emotional highs or “spooky” mystical religious experiences. The Spirit-filled father is the father who is a member of the Church the Body of Christ. If a Christian man wants to be Spirit-filled, he needs to be submissive to the Holy Spirit’s working within him. Once he has an intelligent understanding of what God’s Word says regarding fatherhood, the Christian father can place his faith in that sound doctrine, and the indwelling Holy Spirit will cause His Word to “work effectually” in that man.
God has designed the home to be managed in a very particular way. In Ephesians 5:23, Paul makes the analogy that just as “Christ is the head of the church, the husband is the head of the wife.” The Lord has appointed the father and husband to be the spiritual leader of the household. It is primarily the father’s responsibility to keep the family together, to provide for the family’s needs, and to ensure the family’s safety (both spiritual and physical).
Although the wife is called alongside to help the husband, it is primarily the husband’s responsibility to teach the children sound doctrine. Look at what the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:4 KJV: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Colossians 3:21 KJV declares, “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”
Spirit-filled fathers will not verbally and physically abuse their children. Rather, they will nurture and admonish (warn) his kids in love and decency, just as God the Father instructs us in loving care. A father should discipline his children (and this includes physical discipline), but not to the extent where the children feel discouragement and anger.
Although not directly written about fathers, these verses apply to older men within the local church. Titus 2:1,2 KJV: “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.” Notice that word “become.” The testimony of the Christian father will take time to grow, and he will fail at times, but his life will better reflect sound doctrine as time goes on.
The Spirit-filled father will…
- Be “sober” (have a sound mind, free of drugs, alcohol, and other mind-altering substances)
- Be “grave” (honest, serious)
- Be “temperate” (exercising moderation, self-control)
- Be “sound in faith, in charity, in patience” (upright in actions, loving, a man who has a good understanding of the Scriptures, firm yet not harsh and tyrannical, etc)
Titus, which may have been the same age as Timothy (40?), was instructed to be an example to the young men in Crete. Paul writes in Titus 2:7,8 KJV: “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine, shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
Notice, Titus was to be a “pattern of good works” in the following aspects:
- “in doctrine,” meaning he was preaching, believing, and practicing sound doctrine
- “shewing uncorruptness,” or proving what is holy, righteous, and godly
- “gravity;” that is, worthy of honor, esteem, dignity
- “sincerity,” or one that is genuine; as opposed to a hypocrite or phony
- “sound speech, that cannot be condemned,” or a person’s language will reflect good, pure, and solid Bible doctrine; obviously, he will not use obscene language.
- “that he that is of the contrary part be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you” means just what it says. If a Christian is living like a Christian, practicing what he or she preaches, then the lost world cannot accuse that Christian of being a hypocrite.
It is important that the Spirit-filled father keep a sound Christian testimony. He needs to set an example for his children, especially his sons. His actions will be passed down to his sons, and hopefully they will do the same with their sons.
After considering all this, the Christian life seems impossible for a husband and father. Let me tell you, no man on earth can lead this life that God’s righteousness demands. But, the Christian man is never called to lead the Christian life—he is merely called to let Christ live His life in and through him as he believes God’s Word!
In conclusion, I can say that the Lord has blessed me with a Spirit-filled father. Dad was not perfect, but he made sure my family was never homeless or hungry. Remember, God is not looking for a sinless father… He is just looking for a Spirit-filled father!
“As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,…” (1 Thessalonians 2:11 KJV).