Great Commission Fatherhood

Taigen Joos

grayscale photography of man and two children sitting in bench

There is no question that the presence of fathers in the home is of paramount importance to the overall stability of the family. We should not view their importance only in terms of emotional or financial stability, but also spiritual stability. In a Christian home, the father is the spiritual leader of not only his wife, but also his children.

Not every father will be the most spiritually mature, nor the most theologically educated, but every Christian father is called upon to raise his children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4). Scripture emphasizes the importance of fathers spiritually leading their children. Unfortunately, many relegate that spiritual leadership to their wives and assume a more passive role in the home. This leads to spiritual instability in the home.

God has gifted fathers with a mission field within the four walls of their home. Our responsibility is to seek to make them disciples of Jesus Christ, see them baptized, and grow them to love and serve God wholeheartedly. Our family is our primary mission field. 

Here are a few suggestions to consider in this pursuit.

Start when they are young. 

Read Scripture to them when they are young. Teach them the importance of Scripture in your home. They will not catch everything or understand everything, but you can teach them the value of God’s Word in your life and in your family. Tell them of Jesus Christ and the gospel. Again, they may not catch everything right away, but when we elevate the gospel, they will learn of its value.

Discipline them biblically.

When we discipline our children, it should not be done angrily, nor in an uncontrolled way. Teach them that you love them in the midst of their sinfulness and point them to the love and grace of God, even by how you discipline them.

Teach them the value of the local church.

What you value as a father will be observed by your children, and often adopted by them, even when those values are not what they should be. Value the local church. Value public worship. Value the Word of God. Value the fellowship with God’s people. Value serving the local church. The more you value these things, the more likely your children will, too.

Show them the gospel.

Children can see right through hypocrisy. If we are living hypocritical lives, there is no doubt that our children will be less interested in the gospel. However, when we tell them of the good news of the gospel, and show them how the gospel changes us, impacts our marriage, our speech, and our lifestyle, it will be an incredibly effective evangelistic tool. 

Pray for them.

Ultimately, you cannot save your children, nor force them to be saved. Prayer is your greatest tool in evangelizing your children. Prayer evidences our ultimate dependence upon God, including our dependence upon him to save our children. God will use our efforts in the process, but he is the one who gives the increase. 

Disciple them.

Expectantly wait for God to save your child, and then continue to teach them the words and ways of God. Parenting is essentially a grand discipleship endeavor. And we cannot delegate our responsibility away to the church, to any school, or to any other person. Disciple your children to love God, serve him, and grow in their obedience to the Word of God. 

May God help us as fathers to “man up” to our biblical responsibility to lovingly lead and shepherd the hearts of our children to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.

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