FATHERHOOD: Responsibility and Privilege
Of the bishop, that is, elder or pastor, it is written that he must be “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?).” 1 Timothy 3:4-5. And if a father knows not how to rule his own spirit (Proverbs 25:28), how shall he care for his offspring?
God has entrusted to fathers a most solemn charge, and yet a most precious privilege. It is not too much to say that in their hands are deposited the hope and blessing, or else the curse and plague, of the next generation. Their families are the nurseries of both Church and State, and according to the cultivating of them now will be their fruitfulness hereafter. Oh, how prayerfully and carefully should you who are parents discharge your trust!
Most assuredly, God will require an account of the children from your hands; for they are His and only lent to your care and keeping. The task assigned you is no easy one, especially in these superlatively evil days. Nevertheless, if trustfully and earnestly sought, the grace of God will be found sufficient in this responsibility as in others. The Scriptures supply us with rules to go by, with promises to lay hold of, and, we may add, with fearful warnings lest we treat the matter lightly.
The most important duty, respecting both the temporal and spiritual good of your children, is fervent supplication to God for them. Without this, all the rest will be ineffectual. Means are unavailing unless the Lord blesses them. The “throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16) is to be earnestly implored that your efforts to bring up your children for God may be crowned with success. True, there must be a humble submission to His sovereign will, a bowing before the truth of election. On the other hand, it is the privilege of faith to lay hold of the divine promises and to remember that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). Of holy Job, it is recorded concerning his sons and daughters that he “rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all” (Job 1:5). A prayerful atmosphere should pervade the home and be breathed by all who share it.
– A.W. Pink
Excerpt from “Study in the Scriptures”