6 Unforgettable Lessons on Fatherhood
In public, my dad was one of the great men of his generation. He served God and men most notably for thirty five fruitful years as a Lay leader in our local church and as a motor vehicle mechanic. In private, my dad was the same man. There was only one Levi Visaho Javan an authentic Christian man. The distance between what I have seen so far in the New Testament and what I saw in my dad was slight. He was the most Christlike man I’ve ever known, the kind of man, the kind of father, I long to be.
In no particular order, here are six lessons on fatherhood I learned from watching him, each lesson living on in my life from memories of his care for me.
1. He was never too busy.
My dad was the real hustler. To make sure we go to school, have food on the table he had to go out and what other men do for their families. I remember there are times he slept in the bush repairing people’s tractors and cars, but he was never too busy for us.
2. He was a Bible man.
My dad was wholeheartedly devoted to Jesus. Even with his busy life, he walked with his bible. Most of his friends referred to him as a pastor. The Bible was his dictionary. I remember his friends saying that , he told them to always rejoice as the bible commands them to so Philippians 4:4. When I heard that, I knew my dad meant every word of it. He was a Bible man, and whatever he said was obvious in his own life.
3. He prayerful man.
As a kid growing up, I didn’t need an alarm clock most mornings. I woke up to the sound of my dad praying in his room. Same before he went to sleep, he used to pray and mentioning his family in his prayers. I came to look prayers in that early age because of my dad. I remember one day, I was very sick, when my dad came and started praying, I knew I was going to get healed
Many men are hard to read. I have no idea what they stand for. But I never wondered about my dad what he cared most about, what he was living for. Never once. At all. Not even a little. He did not take a keep-a-low-profile approach to life. Jesus was too wonderful to him. He praised the Lord throughout his life, in public, in private, in a clear and winsome way that could not be ignored.
4. He cheered me on.
My dad set me free to pursue God’s call on my life. He guided me in appropriate ways, of course, but he did not fearfully cling to me or hope I would always live nearby. Just the opposite. He urged me to follow Christ anywhere. Now and then he’d make this speech: “Listen, son. Half-hearted Christians are the most miserable people of all. They know enough about God to feel guilty, but they haven’t gone far enough with Christ to be happy. Be all-out for him! I don’t care if you’re a ditch-digger, as long as you love the Lord with all your heart.” He was not impressed with worldly success and going to the right schools and all that pretense and bluff. He wanted something better for me, something I had to find on my own.
5. He had a real walk with God.
My dad had a real walk with God. It never occurred to me to wonder if Jesus was the Lord of his heart and of our home. Dad loved the gospel. He served the church. He even tithed when he couldn’t afford it. He set the tone of our home, and our home was a place of joy, honesty, and comfort. Jesus was there.
6. He helped me love the church.
Dad had high standards for Christian living. But he was wise enough to know that a ten-year-old follows Christ in a way different from a forty-year-old. He was realistic and compassionate. He made allowances for me to be a Christian child. And he is the primary earthly reason why I love the church today. He wisely showed me how church life does not need to be oppressive.
“I never wondered if Jesus was the Lord of his heart and of our home.”
In the movie “Courageous”, Alex Kendrick puts this in a profound way: “I now belives that God’s desires for every father is to courageously step up and do whatever it takes to be involved in the life of his Children. It’s more than just being there providing for them, but to walk with them through their young lives and be a visual representation of the character of God our father in heaven.”
A father should love his children, seek to win their hearts, he should protect them, DISCIPLINE them and teach them about GOD. He should model how to walk with integrity, he should call out his Children to become responsible men and women and live a life that matters through eternal. Some people will read this and mock it or even ignore but I tell you as a father/parent, you are accountable to God for the position of influence he has given you. You cannot fall asleep on the wheel only to wake up one day and realize that your job has no eternal value but the souls of your children do.
I have already made my decision as a father. You don’t have to ask who will guide my family because by God’s grace I will. You don’t have to ask me who will teach my Children to follow Christ because I will.
If you look at our world now, every tree is protected except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We’ve redefined everything and what chaos in this world in which we live.
I will finish with a verse from Joshua 24:14-15: “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Happy Fathers Day, my fellow fathers!
er of God our father in heaven.”