1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
“As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”
The importance of a father in a child’s life can never be overemphasized. Too many children go through life with an absentee father, and then we wonder why they don’t turn out the way they should. The verses above give three instructions about a father’s responsibility. The purpose of a father fulfilling his responsibility is found in verse 12 when it says, “That ye would walk worthy of God…” More children would do right and live for the LORD if the father was engaged in their life. Let me share with you the three responsibilities of every father that would enable them to become engaged in the life of their children.
First, a father should exhort his children. To exhort means that a father should be the encourager of the child. A child needs their father’s approval and commendation. Children desire to hear their father tell them that they are doing a good job. Certainly, your children need to be challenged, but don’t be so hard on your children that they never hear you tell them how pleased you are with their accomplishments. You will discourage your children if you never tell them that you are proud of them. Children will do everything they can to get their father to tell them they have made him proud, but if a father never tells them this, they will do things to spite him. My friend, don’t wait until you are old to tell your children how proud you are of what they have become, but let them hear you tell them how pleased you are with what they have become if they are doing what you have taught them to do.
Second, a father should comfort their children. We normally think of a mother being the comforter, and she should be, but the father’s strength in the child’s life should give them comfort that they are protected. A strong father is one who sheds a tear with their child when they are hurting, but also gives assurance that everything is going to be fine in their life. A mother cannot give the assurance like a father can, and the father must be careful that he is not so disengaged from his emotions that he can’t give comfort to the child that it is going to be fine when their world is turned upside down.
Third, a father charges his children. Giving charge means two things. First, it means that a father should take charge of every situation. Children need to see a father who is engaged enough to take control of every situation. Second, taking charge means that a father gives direction to what the children should do. In other words, the father needs to be the leader that God intended for him to be. A father should never be disengaged in their child’s life and then suddenly come storming in to take charge when they don’t know what is going on. A father should be in charge and able to give knowledgeable direction in a child’s life because they know what is going on in their life.
If fathers would take these three things and do them, they would find that they would have a better chance of their children walking worthy. My question to the father is this, are you engaged in your child’s life? If you want your children to walk worthy, you must be engaged in their life so that they will have a father to lead them in the right direction.