By Daniel Brutsky
Today, we live in a generation where the population is growing at a particularly rapid rate. We have boys and girls getting together and producing kids at an unreasonably young age. We live in a millennium where fathers take parenting, or the upbringing of kids extremely unsubstantial and insignificant. Many fathers are rather focused on things that please themselves, and things that will make them happier. These children grow up without having any significantly positive impact from their fathers, and left to the hopelessness of this fallen planet.
When considering the text of scripture, one can see the enormous importance and impact of the father in any given family. There can be found a large number of examples of men, who were not so superb fathers. Looking in to the second book of Samuel, we find a man named Eli. Although Eli was Judge and a High Priest, Eli was not so good of a father. 1 Samuel 2:22-24, “Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. 24 No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the Lord’s people is not good.” It can be clearly observed, that Eli was a father who was not close to his sons. He was a father who was rather distant from his family. In the next chapter it is written, “11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, [a] and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’” Here, it can be noticed that Eli was a father who lacked authority in his household. He was a man who was not great at the raising of his children. The Lord said, “I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, [a] and he failed to restrain them.” Eli failed to contain, or keep his children under control, and raised them in a way which was not pleasing to the Lord.
One doesn’t have to go far from this story to find an example of another failed father figure. Samuel, the son of Elkanah, also followed the steps of his father in the way that he was raised, or to the insensitive upbringing of his children. 1 Samuel 8:1-6, “When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. [a] 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.” For whatever reasons, these children did not follow in the footsteps of their father. Samuel also failed to raise up his children to walk in the ways of the Almighty.
Considering these two examples, seeing fathers who were for whatever reasons, captured by various things. One can be captured by the ministry and overlook his children. Another might be captured by war and all that comes with it (David). Fathers can be captured by work, not putting aside time to raise their children. Others may be captured by the troubles of this world. Whether seemingly good or bad baggage, that one may be bound by, it has an effect on the children and the rest of the family.
This is a challenge to be the father that God had called all men to be. Today in this generation it may be hard. Since there are many things that may take your time, which should be spent impacting the children. The scriptures say, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” 1 Timothy says, “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Proverbs speaks of, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”
The Bible is very clear about the importance of fathers raising their children in a special way. It stresses that the children should be brought up in the ways of God. Being taught by their fathers rather than impacted by the teachers of secular institutions. No matter how a situation looks, a Father is supposed to pray for his child and not to give up on them. When investigating the parable of the Prodigal Son, one can see a father who was concerned for his son and was ready to help him in every way he sees fit. Children who know that their father cares and prays about them will have a deep or special sense of belonging, even though they might not show it. You might not have been such a good father to this point, but it is never too late to start. It is never too late to be someone you haven’t been for your children, no matter how old they might be, they all desire to be loved and cared for by a father.
What happens when your father is captured, and you have no one to lead you? The book of Psalms states that God is, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” In the book of Isaiah God says, ““Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” God is the Father of all those who have no father. He is Father of all those who have been rejected or forgotten by their biological father. You might not have an earthy father that cares or loves you, but it maters none. The Father who you have in heaven will give you power, He will protect you, He will provide for you. The Father who is in heaven will support you through every step of your life. The Father who is in heaven will fill the void that is in the heart, lacking a biological father. The God of this universe will put people in your life who will care for you, and help you get through the journey on this side of eternity. The Creator of this world, the One who made you, knows a way that He can love you. He knows a way He can cherish you. He knows a way that He can protect you. He knows a way He can value you. He knows a way that He can hold you in the palm of His hand, and not let you go. All you have to do it let Him. All you have to do is to receive the Fathership that He offers. The Lord says, “Leave your fatherless children; I will keep them alive;” All you must do is trust Him. The times may get tough. The battle might get painful, but know; God is willing to be your Father today.
By Daniel Brutsky