Dear Brethren,

A blessed and spiritually meaningful father’s day to all fathers who read this weekly! Pray for the fathers in our Church as we have an important duty before God to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). We cannot do it with our own strength and wisdom. Often we get our priorities wrong in training and disciplining our children. Sometimes, we act foolishly in using worldly methods and values to bring up our children. Indeed, every father needs the Lord’s help and grace to do right and to live right for the Lord and to set a godly example to our children.

History of Father’s Day

Father’s Day started in 1909 when a young lady by the name of Sonora Dodd, who was at church on Mother’s Day. According to the story, Sonora’s mother had died in childbirth, and her father, Henry Smart, a civil war veteran and farmer, was raising Sonora and her five siblings as a single parent. Sonora wanted to find a way to celebrate and thank her dad with a day that was as special to mother’s, to honour her father and his sacrifices for their family. It wasn’t until 1924, when U.S. President Calvin Coolidge officially urged Americans to celebrate a national Father’s Day. By 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation, designating the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.

Characteristics of a Godly Father (using acronym of FATHER)

Faithful – A godly father is faithful to God and puts God first in everything. We can learn true faithfulness from Abraham who is willing to obey God even to sacrifice his only son Isaac. The faithfulness of a father to God will leave a godly legacy to his children.

Affectionate – A godly father loves his children and shows his affection to them clearly. He will not love his career or hobby or car above his children. His children feel secured in his love and care. The love of God in the heart of the father will flow to his children in perfect, pure and unconditional love.

Trusting – A godly father develops a trusting relationship with his children. He will teach them sound biblical principles and trust God for his children to walk righteously before God. There is joy and confidence in the Lord between father and children in a trusting relationship. Suspicion and insecurity are then put away.

Humble – A godly father is a humble man who relies on God for his wisdom and strength in bringing up his children. If he has done wrong, he will be humble to seek God’s forgiveness and even to seek forgiveness from his children. The children will learn from his humility not to be proud and to treat others gently and kindly.

Energetic – A godly father is not lazy and slothful. He works hard to provide for the family. He does not indulge his time in watching TV nor in the Internet for his own pleasure. He will spend time with the children to teach them and also to play with them. He will want to be with his children to be involved in their lives as often as possible.

Real – A godly father is not a hypocrite. He is a real and true believer in Christ. He does not behave in a religious manner in Church to act before others and then behave as an unbeliever at home and at work. No father can hide the truth from his children what kind of person he really is no matter how clever he can hide from the Church. A godly father is the same person every day of the week and is consistent in his behaviour in Church or outside Church.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6

Elder John Leong