A Father’s Responsibility

I was the first person to hold her tiny, delicate form in my arms. My hands trembled as the nurse placed her tenderly in my arms. Miniature and fragile, could she break? Looking into her E.T. face, I instantly fell in love. I counted all her fingers and toes. There were ten each—tiny and perfectly formed—paper-thin nails and all. My eyes stung and my heart swelled as she turned toward me, and snuggled into my chest. I couldn’t help it. I promised her I would always love and protect her. I would shield her from evil and harm all her life. I promised to raise her to love and fear the Lord.

My mind jumped to the future. This is my little girl. Already, I was thinking what I would say to her when a young man would ask her out on her first date.

Then I started thinking about what I would say to her date! How do I prepare her for that?  I began to search the Scriptures. What does God say about fathers? What are a father’s responsibilities toward his children?

I discovered that a father’s responsibility to his children is to mentor them and to teach them the ways of the Lord, His commandments and His decrees. A dad must live a Christlike life before his children, teaching them to hear, trust, and obey the heavenly Father. Following Deuteronomy 6:5, I read, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (vv. 6-7).

I found it is up to a father to help his child recognize that God is the teacher and ruler in the child’s life. It’s not about me, and what I could do as a father. It is about God, and what a child could become by learning about God

Her E.T. face is now beautiful. Her fingers are long and skilled at the piano. My heart still swells when she turns to me and hugs me. She’s married to a fine Christian man who became the main man in her life. But she’s still mine. And, most importantly, she is God’s.

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