The Bible places the responsibility for leading the family on fathers.
Following are a few scriptures to consider:
Fathers set the vision for the family, regardless of what the culture around them is doing.
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
Husbands set the example of how to love sacrificially.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5: 25-33
God has an expectation that parents will wholeheartedly endeavour to raise godly progeny.
“Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.” Malachi 2:15
Children must obey both parents, but the father is specifically named as the one responsible for proper upbringing.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:1-4
“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” Colossians 4:20-21
Since fathers are responsible for the upbringing of children, they are also responsible for administering and overseeing healthy discipline when needed.
“Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.” Proverbs 19:18
“Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:9-11
Children do not belong to parents, they belong to God, and He loves them more than we will ever know. At some point, each father will need to give an account to God regarding his stewardship of God’s children.
“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.” 1 Corinthians 4:2-4
Father’s must take responsibility to teach his children Biblical truth.
“O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old—what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.” Psalm 78:1-4
Fathers must cultivate a heart-level, discipling relationship with each of his kids.
“See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6
Every Christian must follow Christ’s example and make disciples. Fathers must prioritize his kids above others.
‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”’ Matthew 28:18-20
“He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)” 1 Timothy 3:4-5
Jesus set the example in how to make disciples, as described in all 4 gospels. His approach includes: calling up, practical teaching, heart focus, assignments, correcting, motive revealing questions and more. Fathers must learn to disciple in a similar way. An approach that draws them in and is not exasperating.
Yes, us father’s have a lot of responsibility. Leading a family and discipling our kids may be the most difficult thing we’ll ever do. But the good news is that we don’t have to attain some level of perfection! God sees the motivations of our heart. We just have to wholeheartedly try and God will do what we can’t! Malachi Man seeks to encourage, equip, and empower fathers, in very practical ways, to take our next steps in discipling our kids. This is not a burden, but an incredibly rewarding privilege!
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 4
Note: All bible text taken from NIV.