And he said to man,
‘The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.
Job 28:28 NIV
I wish I could say that all fathers are wise, but life has taught all of us that this simply isn’t true. Some fathers are mean and abusive; others abandon their children, while others may live under the power of addiction. Other fathers are present and provide well for their family yet they are absent from the details of their children’s lives. On the other hand, there are many good fathers who love unconditionally; they are moral and upright men who possess knowledge and understanding. These fathers participate in the lives of their children and are able to guide them effectively and give them a foundation for life. In the first two of the pre-mentioned examples of fatherhood, both fathers lacked the same important attribute. They lacked wisdom.
In the Bible God informed man that he should fear him because the fear of him is wisdom and that wisdom is the springboard for understanding that each individual must reject sin. The fear of God is not the idea that God carries a big stick and hides behind a door awaiting our arrival so he can jump out and whack us on the head for being imperfect! No, the fear of the LORD is viewing God in reverence and giving him the honor and respect due his holy name. When a father fears the Lord he silently announce to his children that God is worthy of notice. He is also a father who teaches his children in word and deed that he respects and adores God. A man who chooses to shun evil, and submit to the Lord’s commands understands and demonstrates by is behavior that he is a godly man of wisdom.
If your father was or is a man who feared God, be thankful because your father has provided for you an accurate model of wisdom. Even in death these men continue to speak to us and teach us of a faith that is well worth having.
If you were not blessed with a father of faith you must realize that it is you who must now light and carry the torch of reverence and respect for God. As a first generation Christian, you must step up to the plate, be the example for your children, who will most likely out live you. Teach by example that the fear of the LORD is wisdom. Teach them to walk away from evil. Model your faithfulness to the one you adore.
Little eyes are watching, bigger eyes are learning, and wide open eyes see the respect and faithfulness you demonstrate. Faith of our Fathers! What a blessing! There is no better gift to have received from a father or to give to your children. This applies to moms as well. Our children learn what we live. They hear our comments, they see us roll our eyes, and they know our priorities and understand what we value.
Grandparents, heads up. You’re not finished yet. Use every opportunity to help your grandchildren find and follow Jesus. The payback will be when our children and grandchildren become wise themselves. “A wise son brings joy to his father, “Proverbs 10:1a NIV. In this life there is no greater joy than to know that our children and grandchildren walk with the Lord and that they understand that wisdom is respecting their Creator by keeping his commandments.
- Do you desire to be a father of faith? A mother of faith? A grandparent of faith? An Aunt or an Uncle of faith?
- Do you see that the “fear” of the Lord is the key to being a person of wisdom?
- How can you be more intentional in passing on your faith to those who walk within your sphere of influence?
- Will you be obedient and choose to rise to the occasion?
You are the greatest of all fathers! In you there is no fault found, no sin, nor is there any partiality among your children. Father you alone are worthy of my love, my reverence, my respect, and my worship. Father, I adore you! I submit to you my life. I realize that I am a person of influence. Father, I pray that my influence will be for you and your glory rather than against you. I desire that those who are watching my behavior will see Christ like attributes that will fill them with desire to not only be like me, but above all else be like you! Father, fill me with a holy “fear” of you. A fear that respects, reveres, worships, and bows in humility. A “fear” that lovingly and willingly chooses to submit to your commands. Father, like Solomon, I ask for wisdom. Give me your heavenly wisdom, the type of wisdom that makes good parents become great parents.
Jesus, it is in your name I pray. Amen.