Skip to content

Father’s Day Thoughts —


Ever notice if you don’t get the first button right, all the other ones end up wrong as well? Ever notice that if a child doesn’t have a good start in life, the rest of his life often goes bad? Without a good beginning to life, a child will often grow into a miserable adult as well as into someone who makes life miserable for others.

God wants children to have a good start to life. From God’s perspective a good start means bringing children to Jesus. “Let the children come to Me,” the Savior says, “and do not forbid them.”[1]

Bringing children to Jesus for a good start involves, first of all, baptism. Through baptism the child’s sins are washed away, and he is adopted into God’s family through faith in Christ. After baptism comes more watering and more nurturing. Like a tender shoot , the soul of the child needs lots of tender loving care. It needs the tender love of Jesus and His Word.

But whose job is it to get children off to this kind of good start? The church’s? Yes, in part. “Feed my lambs”[2] was Christ’s word to Peter, and to the church of all time. Yet the church is there to aid, not replace, Christian parents. There is no substitute for godly parents who work together to “train up a child in the way he should go.”[3]

With that said, ever notice it’s often Mom who must take chief responsibility for the spiritual training of the children? Society is plagued by deadbeat dads. The church faces the problem of deadbeat spiritual dads. To Christian fathers the Lord says: ” . . . do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”[4]

Dads, we need to take charge of our family’s spiritual welfare. We need to play a big part in getting our children off to a good start. From day one our children’s eternal welfare needs to be our chief concern. We need to be the one who makes sure the TV gets turned off and the family is gathered to hear God’s Word. We need to make sure Johnny knows his Bible passages, and Sally knows her hymn verses. We need to show our son the importance of Sunday morning worship over the Sunday morning football game. We need to show our daughter what the Lord is looking for in a Christian father and husband so that she will look for the same qualities when it’s time for her to marry. In short, dads, we need the same enthusiasm for Jesus and His Word that Mom has.

But more than anything, we need Jesus. We need our Savior’s forgiveness, His strength, His wisdom. And we have it. Christ paid for all our sins as fathers. And Christ, with His Word, gives us all we need to carry out our high calling as Christian fathers.

In speaking of the public ministry, St. Paul writes: “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.”[5] In shepherding our families, we fathers must rely on the sufficiency of our Lord and Savior.

All that self-reliant, tough-guy stuff has to go. Only the Lord can give us the wherewithal to be faithful Christian fathers. Only He can turn our hearts in Christ-like devotion to our children. Only with His grace and blessing can we get our chidlren off to a good start.

–Pastor Michael Wilke

Footnoted passages:

1 - Luke 18:6
2 - John 21:5
3 - Proverbs 22:6
4 - Ephesians 6:4
5 - 2 Corinthians 3:5