What does the Bible say about being a good father?

Last updated on April 2, 2024

In recent years, studies have repeatedly shown that we cannot overstate the importance of a father figure in a person’s childhood. Having a dad to look up to can completely shape how you view yourself and the world around you. For that reason, it is even more important to understand how the Bible describes being a good father.

God as the perfect father

Throughout the Old and New Testament, God refers to Himself as a Father. Since God is perfect, we know that what He does is always good. This makes Him the ultimate example of a good father. We should model our way of parenting on God’s perfect actions. Listen to what Jesus has to say about this: “Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!s (Matthew 7:9-11)

How God disciplines His children

One way God shows us how to be a good father, is through His use of discipline. In modern times, it may feel uncomfortable to use this word in respect to parenting, but the Bible actually says this is a good thing from time to time (Ephesians 6:4, Proverbs 13:24, Psalm 94:12). The book of Hebrews even says: sIt is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as a son. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12:7) It is important to keep in mind that God never acts in rage on a sudden impulse. Rather, He always acts in a wise and thoughtful manner. Christian fathers need to do the same. If you discipline your children, do so calmly. Discipline is for correcting your child and preventing danger, not for satisfying your anger.

Don’t discourage, but be forgiving

This leads us to the next biblical takeaway: be gracious to your child. Paul writes: “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” (Colossians 3:21) Fathers should not discourage their children but keep them motivated to live a God-pleasing life. That means that you don’t punish every mistake. Don’t be too harsh. Show your love and care for them, just like God always cares for us. Be willing to make sacrifices to spend time with your children because they deserve your attention. This may be difficult from time to time, but if you do spend time with them, you will discover that children truly are a blessing from God!

Be a loving husband

Besides your attitude towards your children, it is also necessary to love your wife. Recent studies have shown that the relationship between father and mother is just as important for the child as the relationship between child and parents. So if you want to be a good father, you also need to be a good husband. If you want to discover what the Bible has to say about this, you can read our blogpost “How to be a good husband?”

Lead your children in a godly life

Most importantly, lead your children in the way of God. As the head of the household, you have the responsibility to nurture your children physically, but also spiritually. The Bible says: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). This means that fathers are to teach their children the Word of God. They need to show them how to apply it to every-day life. Read from the Bible and pray together. Be willing to acknowledge your mistakes, so you can show them the importance of repentance. Be an example of how to live a God-pleasing life. By doing this, you will be a great example for your child.

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