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A Father's Duty: Guiding Children Amidst Modern Challenges

In our current era, concerns about the environment in which Christian parents raise their children are certainly justified. Society's embrace and endorsement of immorality and the upending of established moral norms have left many once-steadfast traditions and institutions in ruins. Defending even the most basic moral principles now requires more significant effort than it did for preceding generations. However, our society's increasing secularization should not lead us to despair but encourage us to be more vigilant in raising our children.

Raising your children in a Christian home and having children who fear God is still possible. Scripture directs us to mold and shape our children into individuals who deeply love the Lord and aspire to serve Him throughout their lives.

"Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." - Ephesians 6:4

The Responsibility of Fathers

We must recognize that the command explicitly addresses fathers. Fathers have been designated as the appointed leaders within the household.

"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." - Ephesians 5:23

This doesn't diminish the role of mothers in the home but highlights fathers' primary responsibility for nurturing and instructing their children. Scripture calls fathers to rise to this challenge. Fathers, you are responsible for your family's spiritual success and well-being!

The Dual Nature of Instruction

Fathers are instructed to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord rather than provoking them to anger. This implies that there's a particular manner of raising our children that could inadvertently lead to rebellion and estrangement. We must be motivated by a genuine love for our children and an understanding that allowing uncorrected error and rebellion to persist can lead to spiritual peril. Thus, scripture urges us to rear our children in the "nurture and admonition" of the Lord.

Nurturing and Admonishing

The term "nurture" carries positive connotations, while "admonition" consistently conveys a sense of warning.

To nurture entails positively teaching and demonstrating to our children what the Lord expects of them: embracing repentance, faith, and a life of humble, obedient service. Admonishing involves cautioning them about the spiritual dangers that result from going the way of society. Nurturing encompasses broad training across various aspects of a child's being, while admonishing addresses conduct, encouraging right actions, rewarding proper behavior, addressing wrong actions, and administering suitable consequences.

Our Dual Obligation

Both aspects of this equation are indispensable. Our children need to be guided to embrace Christ through faith. They must learn to love truth and godliness and stand for the Lord even when no one else is with them. Our children require both positive guidance and clear warnings.

Nurturing includes celebrating their successes, praising and encouraging their obedience, mirroring our heavenly Father's affirmation of us:

"The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." - Zephaniah 3:17

Fathers, we are in a race. While we run our race, we must nurture and admonish our family. Your family does not need to see their example waiver or waffle in the Christian life. They do not need a father starting a sprint and taking breaks here and there. You are in a marathon.

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us" - Hebrews 12:1

When dad comes to Christ first, 93% of families will follow.

When mom comes to Christ first, 17% of families will follow.

When kids come to Christ first, 3.5% of families will follow.

It is up to you, Dad! Set the example and raise your children into the God-fearing believers you desire them to become. While our children's spiritual growth isn't instantaneous, we mature over time as we patiently and prayerfully guide them to embrace Christ's path and follow His lead.

Make the decision today that "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

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