Four Stages of Manhood – Part 3 – Fatherhood

The Four Stages of Manhood – Fatherhood

fatherhood boysI am producing a series of short, Biblical articles on manhood, and the four stages that I see from the Word of God, we grow through, both naturally and spiritually. These four stages are:

Boyhood

Manhood

Fatherhood

The Age of the Patriarch

Today, we will look at fatherhood.

We talked about the passage of rights from boyhood into manhood, and how men have a warrior inside of them, needing to for fight for the right things…

Yet, boys become men, fall in love, and get married. In the fullness of time, the fruit of that love becomes a family, and children are born. Now, the mighty warrior, with the wild and crazy side has to grow up and face the ‘R’ word – Responsibility. He is still a warrior, but now he picks his battles and fights not for himself, but only to protect his family, community and nation. Freedom has never been free, and free men have always stood up in tough times, and fought for liberty and justice for all. It is always our prayer that there be peace, and that these battles be won in prayer…for God is the ultimate Father, and anyone who has held a helpless newborn in his arms gets a fresh revelation of:

Isaiah 40:11

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Suddenly we find we need the peace and gentleness of God, that we might say, like king David, the ultimate warrior did, so many years ago:

Psalm 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great

fatherhood egg in vice

Meekness is not weakness, it is strength under control…

 

As I have meditated upon this article, and thought of my journey as a father and dad, I decided to review some Scriptures on parenting, that I list here for your edification:

Fatherhood Scriptures

Malachi 4:6

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

 Luke 1:17

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord

Luke 11:7

And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.

Luke 11:13

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

 Luke 18:15-17

And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

 Acts 2:39

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call

 Romans 8:16

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Romans 8:17

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Romans 8:21

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God

 1 Corinthians 4:15

For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel

2 Corinthians 12:14

Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children

 1 Thessalonians 2:7

But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

 Colossians 3:21

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

 1 Timothy 3:4

one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

1 John 2:13

I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

1 John 2:14

I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

I recall a series I taught several times over the years on getting to know God as Father, entitled ‘The Father Heart of God’. I taught seven lessons on Pappa God, describing Him as:

Lesson 1: Protector,

Lesson 2: Provider

Lesson 3: Disciplinarian

Lesson 4: Mentor

Lesson 5: A Warrior who fights for His church

Lesson 6: Nurturer

Lesson 7: The preparer of the Bride for His Son.

Knowing God as OUR Father is critical to becoming whole as men. No matter how great our earthly fathers were, they only brought so much to the table, and God has designed his universe that He have no grandchildren, only children, born-again through Jesus, and adopted into the royal family of heaven.

While these truths of the character of Father God are eternal and of critical consequence to those of us who have huge unmet spiritual needs in our homes, the question is how do we incorporate these attributes of Father God into our own hearts and homes, to fulfill:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

That God would know us, trust us, become so intimate with us, that He might trust us to raise children and our household up after Him!

So , if there is interest, I will post these messages on the Father Heart of God, but for now methinks I will see what an earthly father might look like, who was trying to emulate these seven traits of Father God.

fatherhood God

Protector: Like I said last teaching, being a man means being a warrior. Now we have a wife to love and children to protect, whether from the school yard bully, the dead beat teacher, or the academic bully in the schools of learning. Children need to know that they are safe in pappa’s arms, and that no matter what happens, daddy will fight for them, stand up for them, that even if they are wrong. Daddy loves them, and has only their best interests at heart.

I remember the story of the boy that was shopping with his family for groceries and met a couple of school buddies. They were in a different isle from their family, laughing and telling jokes, when a store clerk grabbed them by the neck and started marching them to the door, when they had really done nothing to justify it, when in the isle appeared the boys father. With words of steel came the command: ‘Take your hands off my son!” The clerk sputtered, ‘He was messing with customers!” without missing a breath, the dad quietly said: ‘I’ll deal with the boy, now you deal with me!’

Suddenly the clerk realized he was about get seriously hurt, if he did not let the boys go. The boy, deeply relieved went home with his dad, who listened carefully to his son, realizing the boy had done nothing to justify the clerks meaness, so no further action was required at home.

Fathers protect their familes.

Provide

Fatherhood provision

Luke 11:13

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Fathers give good gifts to their children….

2 Corinthians 12:14

Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children

– God placed it in the heart of man a fire to provide for his family. No matter what particular vocation he chooses to do battle in, he is created to work. Not out of compulsion, but because God works, and God loves to roll up His sleeves alongside one of His children, and work with Him to see a job through to completion. God loves Monday mornings, because He is a creator, and He loves to create still, and gets joy as His children create wonderful projects, businesses, systems, programs, ministries, administrations reflective of His love, grace, glory and goodness towards humanity. The whole universe revolves around His provision, now we are to be good providers for our families and our households.

Gotta be honest here, I have been wealthy and presently we are financially very poor., yet there is always food on the table, and we always have what we need, although we have our faith in God to supply our wants!

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln

I have had poverty, and seasons of prosperity, and I have learned this: with prosperity comes responsibility. If we can handle the responsibility, prosperity is a great blessing!

If we are going to be like God, we need to provide for our families, carefully supplying their needs, never their greeds. Teaching them to use their faith in God to provide for them, and their own work…Part of training up a child…

When one of my children asks me for something, I never tell them we cannot afford it, for this is foolishness in light of the infinite God who created the universe that our family serves. I simply say, “Pray about it, ask Jesus, and I will agree with you in prayer..” Bikes, Ipads, computers and various blessings have come to our home exactly this way, when we clearly did not have the money for them. God, through many, many miraculous circumstances as God made it clear that He is large and in charge of our lives…

Yet, by the grace of God, Jesus has given me the heart of my children. They love me, hug me, and want to be with me, a gift I am forever grateful for…

Disciplinarian –

fatherhood obedience

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

1 Timothy 3:4

one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:6

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

Ah, the forgottan role of parents, discipline. Jesus did say to go and make disciples of all nations, and before we go, we need to discipline our own homes.

  1. dis·ci·pline

the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

“a lack of proper parental and school discipline”

synonyms: control, training, teaching, instruction, regulation, direction, order, authority, rule, strictness, a firm hand

In a great course we took at Sunday school entitled ‘Growing Kids Gods Way’ where we were taught many great principals of parenting but I wish to amplify only two of them here:

  1. First time obedience –Children are instructed by God to obey their parents in the Lord. When we directly command them to do something, they must obey, or there must be immediate consequences for disobedience.
  2. The moral reason why – As soon as a child grows to the point of understanding, they should be instructed as to the moral reason why they must obey a given command.

When a child is able to understand why they are to instantly obey what they are commanded, with immediate consequences given for disobedience. No threatening, screaming, emotional escalation, simple truth or consequences. Consequences may range from a tap on the back of the hand for a toddler, a time-out, revoking priviliges, toys or treats, or the board of education being applied to the seat of higher learning. (spanking)

fatherhood consequences

This is not an in-depth course on parenting but I will make a couple of points:

  1. Discipline should not be delegated solely to the mother. Making daddy into Mr. sugar daddy, full of hugs, kisses and treats, with mom having to be the ‘bad guy’ when children act up. Men, we are head of our house, and our children must obey us. We need to take time to teach, instruct, nurture, love and spend quality time with them, so that we disciple them in the things of God in love.
    1. A child should never be disciplined in anger! If a child is directly defiant, and pitching a fit, give them then a time-out, and then carefully explain the moral reason why they are being spanked, then spank them.
    2. “Spankings are a rare event in our home, because I spend daily time with my children teaching them the Bible, and listening to their opinions about any movie, book, or information they have heard from their friends. We love each other, and trust each other, so they are not afraid to tell me things that are troubling them.

One day at the office, I had to work late, so the family met me at the local Reesor’s over in Jenks at the Deli for supper, so that we could at least see each other that day. It was the night before pay-day, and I only had enough to buy everyone’s dinner, but we had to order water’s to go with it, because we didn’t have enough. At that time, my son was around 4, and he wanted a Dr. Pepper. I had told him no, and we sat down at the little café tables and quickly ate together, so I could get back to the office to complete the bid submission due the following morning, for a large project, our company really needed.

Over the next couple of days, I heard a couple of interesting comments from my children, but I hadn’t put the pieces together yet. My son had asked if children went to jail sometimes, and my daughter had asked me why people have to go jail (Deep thoughts for a six year old). I had explained to her that when we went to the OKC zoo, and she thought she was playing with a lioness that carefully stalked her through the glass, that the reason that cat was in a cage, is because it wanted to eat her! That unfortunately, there are people like that cat, that are predators, that are only safe to be around when they are behind bars, unless Jesus changed their heart, and made them safe to live free with the rest of us. Yet, my son kept asking if kids could go to jail for being bad, to the point where my wife felt I needed to have a talk with him, as he was really troubled.

So I asked him, “Son, why do you keep asking if children can go to jail, have you done something you shouldn’t have?” Immediately he began to cry, and blurted out: “Dad, I stole a Dr. Pepper over at Reesors! Do I have to go to jail?”

Although it was pretty comical seeing his distress, in a moment of inspiration, I stopped what I was doing, and said, ‘Come on son, get in the truck, we need to go for a ride.” He was still crying, and didn’t know where we were going, but he knew I loved him, and wouldn’t hurt him.

So, as we drove I explained to him my world, how I fought to keep my word, my commitments, to honor my employees, my clients, my supplies, and of course our company and all the families involved.  I explained to him, how Jeff Reesor had created his company, bigger than ours, and how hard he had worked to build it, and that stealing was wrong, even if other people were doing it (He had his water cup, and filled it with Dr. Pepper), and that we had to pay for the drink he stole. That we were going back to Reesors, to ask forgiveness for what he stole, and to pay for his drink.

He was terrified, but we went into the store, explained to the cashier what had happened (like me, she had a hard time not laughing), then I called for the manager, and asked if I could pay for my son’s drink. He said, that because we were honest, it was on the house, but I insisted on paying anyway, explaining it was for the good of my son. (If I remember right, I bought him a treat too), and then we headed home.

I told him that God was that way. God loves us, and while He will never agree with doing wrong, if we fess up when we mess up, He will always help us get out of whatever mess we made by our bad choice.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

The story didn’t end there. When we got home, before he ran off to play I called him over to the fireplace, and reached in my pocket for the receipt for his drink. I told him, that this receipt was how much his drink cost, and proof that I had paid the price for it. I then reached up on the mantle, grabbed the lighter, and burned that paper, forever gone. I then explained to him, that is what Jesus does with our sin, that He removes it as far as the east is from the west, forever gone out of our lives… Though I am sharing this story with you, I have never ever bullied nor brought it up with him again.. we forgive, and FORGET.

This is my take on redemptive discipline….

Mentor- Fathers grow as children grow. It is my hope and prayer that I have created enough love and respect  in the hearts of my children that they would always respect my wisdom, counsel, advice and potential direction for their lives, yet never be limited by it.
mentor will smith

As I have moved in leadership over the years, there have been some long, lonely nights of prayer, as I make decisions before God that at times, have eternal consequence, anquished times where I have honestly not known what to do in damage control where things on a project or in a relationship have gone wrong.I call this being mentored by God…Where He gives me wisdom, after years of instruction, and then leaves me to make my own decision…God instructs us, and mentors us, very gently as men…

I call this being mentored by God…Where He gives me wisdom, after years of instruction, and then leaves me to make my own decision…

“Remember that mentor leadership is all about serving. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).” ― Tony Dungy, The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently

God instructs us, and mentors us, very gently as men…

Psalm 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

So He expects us to be gentle with our children.

Philippians 4:5   He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young

 

I love the way Jesus deals with me as my Lord, and now, my best friend:

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

 

Satan drives his followers, Jesus, gently leads His…Be gentle dads, gentlemen!

Warrior who fights for his family! –

honor1

Joshua 1:9

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Ephesians 6:10

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

2 Timothy 2:1

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

There is no room for limp-wristed faith here! I spoke on men being men in the last article, that warrior hood is one of the signs of healthy manhood. There is one difference in fatherhood – we are no longer looking for a fight, in fact we are fighting for peace!

manhood castrated

We champion our wives and children, and the cause of Christ, and there will be battles enough, simply holding down a job, keeping children on track academically, protecting them from bullies and evil people wherever they are found, yet fathers only fight to protect their families.

I have said it this way to some ‘tough guy’ looking to pick a fight.

“Look buddy, I am here to work, not fight. If you insist, you can slap me, and I will turn the other cheek, for Jesus loves you and so do I. Yet, if you try slapping my wife or children, I will kill you if necessary. It is not personal, I have a God given responsibility to protect them…”

So, far, every bully has backed down over the years, and I have never had to shoot anyone by the grace of God (although there have been two very close calls with would be household intruders that decided to stop trying to break down my front door when I told them to go home, because if they came through my door, I would kill them. I will protect my family, whatever it takes…

Enough said. My primary passions are fighting the fight of faith in prayer, Fighting for excellence in my children, staying in passionate pursuit of Jesus. When I do, He protects, provides, instructs my children, brings me and my house into divine order and peace….

Nurturer – In my series, the Father Heart of God, I showed how God is a great nurturer, giving hugs, tons of affirmation, always ready to love, listen, and get involved with what I am doing. He loves us!

fatherhood nurter

So, it has been with our family. We are all snuggle buddies, often curled up on the sofa watching movies, or lying down with the kids as we tuck them into bed listening as they pour out their hearts to us about everything from their music, their friends, their video games, or their moral decisions. Though I will say little about this important topic, it is critical in the life of a child!

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” ― Marvin J. Ashton

“the seriousness of emotional deprivation: It is not difficult to understand how children who have suffered from malnutrition or starvation need food and plenty of care in their bodies are to recover so they can go on to lead normal lives. If, however, the starvation is severe enough, the damage will be permanent and they will suffer physical impairments for the rest of their lives. Likewise, children who are deprived of emotional nurturing require care and love if their sense of security and self-confidence is to be restored. However, if love is minimal and abuse high, the damage will be permanent and the children will suffer emotional impairments for the rest of their lives.” ― Mark Z. Danielewski

Though I understand the wounds caused by abuse, trauma, neglect run deep, the love of our heavenly Father goes deeper still!

The world could be a little less cruel, if we nurture each other while we grow; learn understanding while we transform and maintain a humble attitude whilst we succeed.” ― Nikki Rowe

Fathers need to love and nurture their children, as much as mothers do.

Romantic, passionate pursuer of God
bride1

Real dads love their wives, and fight to keep the romance alive. The Scriptures tell us that we, the church, are the bride of Christ, and there is a passionate, romantic side of Jesus, where we are pursued with a furious, passionate love.

Somehow as fathers, we need to emulate that. Passionately in pursuit of God staying radically in love with our wives. Constantly surprising them with gifts, kisses, love notes, and keeping the banner of love alive in our homes. All of this is a celebration of our marriage covenant. (By the way men, if you are not married, either buy a ring, and get married today, or if you are involved with someone sexually that is not your wife, end it, today – Friends with benefits – are not part of the kingdom of God)

Somehow, as fathers we are to receive passion, fire, zeal and strength from heaven as a celebration of our covenant with God, and we are to carry the commandments of God to our children in a loving life-givng way, that they would honestly want to serve Jesus, because He is awesome, not out of logistic legalistic religious duty.

I end where I began:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back…

Joshua 24:15 [Full Chapter]

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Despite my human frailities, and countless mistakes over the years, it is my hope and prayer, that I serve Jesus well enough, that when the time comes for my children to leave the nest, and make their own mark on this world, that they will choose Jesus as Lord and Shepherd of their lives too…

We train up our children in the way they should go, and then we deliberately trust Jesus with their lives, that as they age, they will serve God and live happy productive lives!

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

Author: chrisaomministries

Chris Walsh is a missionary, the President of AOMMinistries. This blog now reaches over 100,000 people each day! Chris is the author of three books: Parable of the Sower, Worship - Not Just a Song, and now 'Welcome to the Grand Illusion, a prophetic prayer strategy to take America back!' The Walsh family has completed over 20 missions trips since April 2014, and is committed to bringing the Word of God to the nations, by every available media.

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