What Is The Biblical Role Of A Father?
The biblical role of a father is to be the head parent that leads through biblical masculinity—selfless servant leadership. A father should courageously take up his God-given role and provided leadership, protection, provision and spiritual direction for his family.
Establishing Biblical Fatherhood
- The father is the head parent because the Bible establishes the authority structure within the home as patriarchal (the mother is to help under the leadership of the father). He is the one who is accountable for leading his family. Thus, in the Bible, most verses that deal with parenting refer to the father’s responsibility.
Ephesians 5:22-6:4; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Colossians 3:19
- Hierarchy: God has ordained three institutions within society—the family, the government and the church. He has set in order and gave rules for how they are to function. The family is the foundation for the other two institutions because it is the most basic and fundamental institution of society that everyone is a part of. Therefore, the health of the family affects the health of the government and the church. Many problems in today’s society stem from the problems within a dysfunctional family.
Genesis 1-4; Mathew 18; Romans 13
- Patriarchy: The head (under Jesus) of this fundamental institution (the family) is the father. Thus, dysfunctional families are often the result of a dysfunctional father. Fathers who don’t lead their families are not only causing their families to suffer, but also governments and churches. When biblical fatherhood and masculinity breakdown in society, so do many other parts of society. Therefore, fatherhood needs to be a position of honor and respect. Christian men need to wholeheartedly bear their responsibility as fathers under the headship and after the example of Jesus.
1 Samuel 8:1-9; Deuteronomy 6:5; 1 Timothy 3:5
- Masculinity: Every man is born male (physiological gender) but he has to learn what it means to be masculine (gender identity). True masculinity is exemplified in Jesus and should be passed on from father to son. Every man needs to evaluate his life and see if he is living according to the Bible’s definition of masculinity—selfless servant leadership. If your father wasn’t present in your upbringing or didn’t give you an example of biblical masculinity then you should seek council from male leadership within your church to learn how to live in accordance to the preordained identity that God has designed for you. Every man’s first step is a relationship with Jesus.
1 Kings 2:1-3; Titus 1:5-10; 2:2, 6-8; 1 Timothy 3:1-7
Putting Primary Responsibilities Into Focus
- Leadership: Men should take the initiative in providing leadership for their families as husbands and fathers. This means that God expects men to take the initiative in leading their families in all areas. They lead by example. They love and cherish their wives, and bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Jesus exemplified this by being a servant and initiating our salvation and sending the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Ephesians 5:25; 6:4; Matthew 20:26-28
- Protection: Men should take the initiative in providing security for their families as protectors. This means that they are responsible for their families’ physical and emotional security. They are willing to physically protect them at the cost of their own lives and they are constantly watching over the protection of their hearts so that they aren’t abused or hurt by the wrong things. Jesus exemplified this by giving up His life for us and holding us securely in his hands.
Nehemiah 4:13-14; John 10:28; 15:13; 17:12
- Provision: Men should take the initiative in providing the needs for their families as providers. This means that they take measures in preparation for providing nourishment for their families. They desire to be the primary workers so that they can provide lodging, food, clothes and whatever other necessities that their families need. Jesus exemplified this by providing out greatest need—salvation, but also in teaching us to trust God through prayer and first seeking His kingdom and righteousness.
1 Timothy 5:8; Ephesians 5:28-30; Philippians 4:19; Matthew 6:11, 33; 7:7-11
- Spirituality: Men should take the initiative in providing spiritual direction for their families as men of God. This means that they personally (individually) and collectively (as a family) will serve the one true God. They have a personal relationship with God through Jesus and worship Him. They desire to lead family worship in the home but also to lead their families to the local church for corporate worship. This includes putting away anything that hinders or discourages the worship of God. Jesus exemplified this by obeying God’s will and showing us the right spiritual direction—He is the way, the truth and the life.
Joshua 24:15; Genesis 35:2-3; John 8:28-32; 14:6-7
Other Areas Of Fatherhood
- Fathers should submit to God’s will for their role in the family. They must repent of their irresponsibility or passiveness and start focusing on their primary responsibilities. Each responsibility is equally important and needed. They shouldn’t choose one over the other—for example: choosing to provided provision (the best financial life possible) at the expense of not providing leadership, protection and spiritual direction.
- Fathers should properly love their wives and have a healthy marriage that reflects the gospel so that: (1) their wives can function as the helper they need in raising godly children; (2) their children have a stable environment full of grace and truth.
Ephesians 5:33; Proverbs 1:8; 6:20
- Fathers can be encouraged towards biblical masculinity by their wives. Wives should submit and respect their husbands and encourage and allow their husbands to lead, especially in the areas of their primary responsibilities.
- Fathers are to be courageous. They are to bravely assume their roles as the leaders of their families. In the Bible this is what “quit you like men” meant—to not be deterred by danger or pain. Manliness is defined by courage. This courage is the strength to lead your family and not be deterred by a hostile culture that deems men as lazy or incompetent. Fathers are to courageously lead their families because they are convinced, convicted and assured that God has called them for such a purpose as this.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14; Deuteronomy 31:6; 1 Kings 2:2; 2 Samuel 10:12; Joshua 1:6-9
- Why is the father the head parent?
- Can you explain hierarchy, patriarchy and masculinity in relation to fatherhood?
- What are the four primary responsibilities of fatherhood?
- What are some other areas of fatherhood to consider?
- What does the Bible mean when it says, “Quit you like men?” Are you?