FEAR OF GOD
Living in the Awe
Holiness of God
Fear not man
THE FEAR OF GOD AND FATHERS
The Christian family has been greatly influenced by popular secular philosophies which hold to definite unbiblical perspectives. They are told that their children's problems are not their fault. This relieves them of their guilt but only ends any hope for reconciliation. If we only had a fear of God, Christians might go back to God and His ways. How would the fear of God help families?
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- Fathers would teach the scriptures as we are instructed in Deuteronomy 6.
Fathers would take personal responsibility to inculcate the Word of God into their children's lives.
"Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, 2 so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. (Deuteronomy 6:1-2, NASB).
- Fathers are to be convinced a wholehearted following of God will bring the greatest blessings to his family.
Fathers tend to seek material wealth and indulge in self-comfort. They tend to get excited about sports rather than the Lord's blessing. If the father is convinced that the greatest blessing comes from obedience to God, then He will spend most his time and effort seeking God.
"O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. (Deuteronomy 6:3, NASB).
- Fathers would take the lead in godly living and so model a great love for God and His ways.
We do not realize how much resentment piles up because wives and children see the inconsistencies of their Dads. This does not mean that Dads are expected to be perfect. Not at all. In fact, we are to be sufficiently transparent in our faults so that they can also learn how we humble our hearts and seek reconciliation with others.
"Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5 "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, NASB).
- Fathers would spend quality time with their children and so help them in their interpretation of the world and life.
Children, especially sons, are looking for 'neat' friends to make up for the loss and disappointment of not being able to share their lives with their fathers. This is one of the main reasons young boys are so influenced by their friends. Again Deuteronomy 6 clearly teaches us this.
"And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; 7 and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, NASB).
If these statements seems archaic or totally inappropriate in your family culture, then you can be assured there remains little fear of God left in your life. Basically, parents have accepted modern educational philosophy which dictates we should let other people raise our children. We further aggravate the problem by believing as the culture teaches us that excellence in school education is the key to success. This is totally denied by the scriptures. Knowledge puffs up. In actuality we should care far less about making wealth machines and far more intense to build godly character into the hearts of our children. Although we would not say that we do not accept the lack of instruction in morals, we do virtually nothing about it!
The fear of God will produce a lifestyle which is contrary to the world. Will we listen to God or man? Are we fearful that our children will end up without great college educations? If so, then we will sacrifice our children to the world. What are you seeking for your children? If it is worldly success, then your decisions will be built on this ungodly goal.
The fear of God trains us to prioritize God's priority. Although God is not against promotions and wealth, we are not to seek it. We are to seek godly living. For example, if at work to get ahead you are expected to make reports look better than they are. You will have two ways of handling it. Either you will fear God by saying "No" and risking your job or you will fear man and do what all the others are doing. When your come back home you will have one of two results:
- Fear God and share your faith
You can share the difficulty with your family and state how you are risking your job (and their security). You express how you believe God has His hand in the matter and is asking for faithfulness. You pray together. Share promises together and actually wait upon God together. Through this, the whole family is oriented around God and His will. They see their Dad seeking God. God is real. Wonderful testimony!
- Fear Man and hide your guilt
If you lie on your report, you have announced to God and self that you are seeking recognition, fame, wealth or acceptance rather than God. You are distraught. You feel the pressures at the office. Hard time sleeping. Greater temptation to indulge in pornography. You are especially hard on your children when they don't perfectly obey you (this is your sin). The whole family is acting wrong. No leadership. If any home devotions and prayer, it is hypocritical. No testimony.
When we make a decision to fear God as fathers, we are seeking God for a godly family. Anything short of this leads to phony religiosity which only builds up resentment in our family members. Seeking God first definitely has its challenges, but then we have God's blessing and the love of our family.
We need to next look at the fear of God and children before turning how to increase our fear of God. (Next)