Priorities for a Father

By Sam Chez

Since it’s mid-June, I was asked to write about ‘fathers.’ I mention that because the only qualifications I feel I have on this topic are: I have a father, and I am a father. That said, I do feel strongly about what foundation makes a good father. What makes a good father begins with his relationship with his wife, who is usually the mother of his children. It’s quite simple: A good father loves his wife. Scripture encourages husbands to love their wives as “Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). After all, fatherhood literally starts between a man and a woman, and ideally between a husband and a wife. Men, think of the simple yet profound lesson your children learn if the only thing you teach them is that a husband loves his wife. For sons, it gives them a model to follow, and not just for their wives some day in the future, but how to treat all females with honor and respect. For daughters, it gives them a standard of expectation. It teaches them that they are worthy and due their husband’s affections.

I grew up in a working-class immigrant family where my father worked a full- and part-time job to provide for us. As a result he was often busy, and when he was not busy he was tired. However, he still made time for us, and perhaps the greatest lesson that he continues to teach others is how to unconditionally and with deep commitment love your wife. Such love between parents naturally flows down to their children and provides them the stability needed to grow and thrive. Think about it in terms of our faith. Knowing the love that God the Father has for Jesus the Son and vice versa gives us the confidence that the God and King of the universe loves and cares for us.

As a current father of 2 teenagers, parenting is TOUGH and some days I feel like a failure. But then I need to remember that what makes for a good teenager is out of my control. Every day I must remind myself that this day is another opportunity to represent Jesus to my family and to model his unconditional love. This, by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, is something I can control. This Father’s day, amidst the gifts of the paper or real ties from your kids (depending how old they are), join me and model that love to your wife and then your kids.