Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring – not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. – Romans 4:16
This coming Sunday, many people the world over, including us here in the Bahamas, will celebrate Father’s Day. This is a day when people around the world pay homage to fathers.
The gift of being a father is a wonderful blessing from God. Therefore, fathers should not spurn this blessing. Scripture says much about fathers and how a father should manage and nurture his family.
Therefore, I would like to share some of the virtues of a good father.
The good father respects, honors and has faith in God: Abraham was a good example of fatherhood. He was a godly man who trusted God. Because of his life and obedience to God, through our Christian faith, we are referred to as the children of Abraham.
God called Abraham from amongst his idolatrous people and instructed him to leave his home country and journey to a land that He would give to him and his generations. He was obedient to God and journeyed into the wilderness.
Through his journey, he encountered much hardship and unpleasant experiences. Yet, Abraham lived his life trusting God. His faith in God was credited to him as righteousness.
A good father is not perfect: Like Abraham, he has his imperfection. He makes mistakes and poor decisions. But then, he acknowledges his mistakes and moves on. God is willing to forgive and deliver such a person.
The good father leads his family: He does not abandon his children and leave them for others to raise. He provides food and shelter for his children. Additionally, through his involvement in the life of his children, he assures them of his love.
A good father teaches his children about God: Abraham passed his instructions from God on to his children. Through the oral tradition, God’s word was passed down from generation to generation.
Abraham is a pattern for us parents. Through him, God promised salvation to all who believe in the Messiah who would come into the world – through Abraham’s seed. Jesus Christ, our Lord, is the Messiah who suffered and died for our sins.
No, Abraham was not a perfect man, but he trusted God. When God made a promise to him, that he would be a father in his and his wife’s old age, he believed God.
A good father is kind: He displays fine personal qualities and has high moral principles. Even though Abraham displayed common human frailties, he was kind, fair and noble. He displayed kindness, fairness, and generosity when he divided land between his nephew, Lot and himself.
Someone said, being a good father is a developed skill. It takes work and comes with growth and maturity. Of course, it is grounded in a faith and belief in God. Without God, fathering is merely behavioral and subjective to the cares and whims of man. Father Abraham lays down a humble example from which all of us can learn. Amen. Happy Father’s Day!
• Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone 426-9084; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.