The Way of the Warrior Week 14 - The Warrior's Journey®

The Way of the Warrior Week 14

Author: Nathan Werner,

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

The Way of a Father

Father’s Day is a special holiday that emphasizes the importance of fathers to their families.  The Bible uses the theme of Fatherhood to note many important spiritual truths that men need to be aware.  Someone isn’t a father because he has sired children. Biblical fatherhood adds significant responsibilities that make wise fathers into servants to their children.  Fatherhood in scripture is a picture of men targeting their children, biological or step children, for their greater spiritual and moral good. Dads pave the way for their children to learn to be mature godly persons, full of wisdom, so they are willing and able to influence the next generation.  Absent fathers spell disaster for cultures.

Interestingly, the Bible’s first mention of love is that of a father for a son.  One might have thought that Adam and Eve would be the first, but the first is about Abraham and Isaac: “He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love..'” (Gen. 22:2).

The New Testament has the same pattern. The first mention of love is about a father for a son.  In the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the writers point to another incident – Jesus’ baptism. “And behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'” (Matt. 3:17).  The Heavenly Father publicly expresses to the world His delight and love for His son.  He is not afraid to let everyone know that He is supremely satisfied in his son, Jesus.

The fourth gospel, John, has a different note about love. We all know the verse: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (Jn. 3:16).  The Father sacrificed his deepest love for mankind. This is a profound sacrifice. His son in exchange for any craven and depraved person who wants Jesus to take his place.  That is stunning. Makes you think about God’s willingness to expand his boundaries of love to us!

If the Lord has granted you the opportunity to be a Dad, what is your model?  Pro athletes? Hollywood actors? Mafia crime bosses? Let’s go back to whom we mentioned first – Abraham, in the book of Genesis.  His son Isaac was unaware that the Lord put Isaac at risk. Isaac trusted his dad, Abraham: “He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering… ‘” (Gen. 22:2). Abraham trusted the Lord and Isaac trusted his dad.  A father’s actions and behaviors must be so trustworthy, that a child will feel absolutely safe in the father’s care.  Children believe in unconditional love, it is natural, and expected from their parent.

Let’s use Jesus as an example, though he was not a dad. John 13:1 “When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”

Jesus is the example of how to be an effective parent.  He changed the world by taking average men and transforming them into world changers.  The key was his attitude toward them. We can shape our children into being people who influence culture.

Jesus was acquainted with his disciple’s faults and failures.  He knew Judas would betray Him and Peter would deny Him. Nine others would forsake Him, and only John would be around at the cross.  They were fickle, they were self-focused, and they were insensitive. The disciples’ focus in John 13 was their argument over who was the greatest among them. Luke 22:24 “A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.”  Sounds like kids, right?

Luke 22:15 “And he said to them, ‘I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.'”  Jesus’ passion was to be with these men in community and to have connection.  Jesus had the right attitude for parenting, something we should want to emulate.

Back to Abraham and Isaac.  The Lord commands Abraham to take Isaac to the place of sacrifice: He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering…”  (Gen. 22:2).  As a dad, are you willing to give your child to the Lord? The core of fellowship with God is a foundation of sacrifice.  We are not talking now about literal sacrifice, rather about sacrificing self to the Lord.

The burnt offering was the sacrifice that signified total commitment. It is the only offering in which the entire animal is burned upon the altar, it creates “a sweet aroma to the Lord.” Do you teach your child about total commitment to the Lord?

Next, Abraham explained to Isaac, that the place of sacrifice was the place of worship:” I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” (Gen. 22:5). Abraham fully expected that giving his son to the Lord was worship.  In addition, he had total confidence that though he was to sacrifice Isaac: “I and the boy will…come again to you.” He believed in resurrection power.  Isaac would come back alive. No doubts, no hesitation.  Do you trust the Lord with your child’s future?

Then, the really good news! After obedience to the Lord’s direction, Abraham gets more revelation. “The Lord said, ‘By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.'” (Gen. 22:16-18 ESV).

“This is your promise also! And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:29).  Genesis 22:16-18 is for you and your kids!

So, the place of sacrifice is also a place of worship, then the place of great revelation and promise.  Are you willing to take your children to the same place? Your children trust you with wholehearted trust, believing that you bring them to the place of worship for the great promises for their good.  Are your children at home in the place of worship? Is worship natural for them, because they have witnessed you in worship? Great promises are in store for them if as a father, you lead them in and to worship.


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