18 June 2013 by James Hoh CM –
There are five kinds of father. Fathers are important because they provide three main things in our lives:
1. Fatherhood provides us our identity – it tells us who we are. In the world today there are so many gay lesbians and gays, many of them have identity crisis, they don’t know who they are.
2. Security – we are secured because we have good fathers and mothers.
3. Sense of belonging – this is a fatherless generations, many fathers are busy and miss the time they have with their children.
We can find five types of fathers in the Bible:
1. Abusive Father (1 Samuel 20: 30) – King Saul had wanted Jonathan, his son, to be the next king. The heart of the father always wants the best for his children, what more, our heavenly Father. But somehow God chose David to be the next king. King Saul knew that David would be the next king instead of his son. However, Jonathan and David were very good friends and one day out of anger, King Saul scolded his son, Jonathan:
Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you?
1 Samuel 20: 30
Those strong words must have hurt his son so deeply. Sometimes ago, I have heard a father saying this to his son, “I would rather give those foods to the dogs.” This is abusive father, the son was hurt and could recall the incident vividly because of the deep hurt.
If you are like that, there is only one word for you: REPENT and let the Holy Spirit change you.
2. Absentee Father (2 Timothy 1: 5) – Paul saw Timothy as a young and special pastor. He also saw something wonderful about his grandmother Lois:
I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.2 Timothy 1:5
How many believe Timothy had a father and a grandfather? (Joke) Obviously he had them.
But where were Timothy’s father and grandfather? It wasn’t mentioned in the Bible. The Bible is silent on this. Maybe Timothy’s father was too busy working. We won’t know. Our children should be brought up not only by mother but more importantly, the father. The role model of man cannot be found anywhere in Timothy’s life so is today’s society. For example, look at the prayer meetings in our church, they are mostly attended by women. Why don’t men assume the spiritual role-model and leadership in the home and church? Men should rise up to take up their rightful leadership.
How many parents are always so busy that they put their children with their grandparents to babysit?
Grandparents mean well but they are not doing a favour to their children and their grandchildren because their grandchildren are going to be so bonded with them as “father” and “mother” and they would not be able to connect with their real parents.
If parents gave them iPADs and Tablets to ‘babysit’ them, one day they would grow up to be ‘monsters’ and you would wonder what had happened. This is absentee father.
One day in Singapore a son asked his Dad, “Dad, how much does your company pay you one hour?” The dad was puzzled for a while but the son insisted, “Please tell me how much?”
Finally the father told the son an ‘XXX’ amount. And the son took out the money and cried, “Father, can I buy 1 hour of your time?”
3. Ahab Type of Father (1 Kings 21) – The father is weak and the mother and children run the show. Very strong wife and a very strong mother in this case. But please don’t blame the wife because the husband and the father is not taking up the responsibility and somebody has to do it. It’s not God’s perfect will for the wife to take the leadership in the home but she has no choice. This is not good.
4. Abdicate Father (1 Samuel 2:22) – We can be so busy serving in the church that we neglected our children and wives. Pastors and full time staff, the priority is for the family first not the ministry. Dr Paul Ang travels to preach with his wife and son even though the expenses are much higher.
This is absolutely a non-compromise. What’s the use if you saved the whole world and your children go the hell!?
Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.1 Samuel 2: 22
High Priest Eli relinquished his rights and responsibility as a father. It is so sad that a high priest’s sons were corrupt and sinful. The amazing thing was that Eli did not correct, discipline or rebuke his children.
Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.Proverbs 13: 24
If parents don’t discipline their children, one day the government would discipline them. Fathers, don’t abdicate your role especially in disciplining!
5. Abraham Type of Father (Genesis 18: 19) – Provide a good role model for your children. Your words are louder than your actions. Children imitate their fathers. So don’t ask your children not to do something that you would do.
For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lordwill bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”Genesis 18: 19
Let us be inspired by father Abraham. He received an outstanding appraisal from God because he taught righteousness to his children and household. He was a man of prayer and he also prayed for Lot, his relative.
Elder Ang and the late Elder Koh would pray faithfully every Sunday morning before the Sunday service started.
Fathers must start well and finish well. And the one most important thing that you could leave behind is a spiritual legacy for your children.
Let God find us faithful!
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A painting of Abraham's departure by József Molnár