A Father’s Responsibility and a Son’s Response



footprints-in-sandThis Sunday we will be celebrating Father’s Day, a time to honor and thank our dads for their place within our lives. Today I want to take time to challenge both fathers and sons. I have my Bible in hand as I begin this undertaking. My goal is to show the responsibility placed upon fathers and the response expected by sons.

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when
you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie
down and when you rise up.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7
(the Father’s responsibility)
A wise son heeds his father’s instruction.
Proverbs 13:1
(the Son’s response)

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when
he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6
(the Father’s responsibility)
 Listen to your father who gave you life.
Proverbs 23:22
(the Son’s response)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but
bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4
(the Father’s responsibility)
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR
YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment
with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU,

Ephesians 6:1-3

(the Son’s response)

These scriptures place a heavy responsibility upon our fathers. However, dads do not need to rely solely upon their own power to successfully fulfill their role. The primary responsibility of all dads is to follow the example of their Heavenly Father. In order for fathers to fulfill their responsibility as fathers and teach their sons to respond correctly, they must respond to the instructions of their Heavenly Father. Proverbs 3:11-12 sums up this concept well. In verse 11, “My son” refers to an earthly father being told how he is to respond to his Heavenly Father’s instructions. God as the Heavenly Father is setting an example for fathers on earth. Listen to the following words.

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke, because the
Lord disciplines those he loves.
Proverbs 3:11-12
(earthly Father‘s and Son‘s response)

What is the outcome of this type of Father/Son relationship? Once again I go to scripture to find the answer.

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who
fathers a wise son will be glad in him.

Proverbs 23:24
(the Father’s responsibility)
The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are
his children after him!

Proverbs 20:7
(the Son’s response)
And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the
hearts of children to their fathers.
Malachi 4:6
(our Heavenly Father’s responsibility)

These are beautiful promises! They are the fulfillment of the Father/Son relationship as the Lord designed it. How is it possible for the Lord to bring about this rapport? Listen again to God’s Word.

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.

Psalm 103:13
(earthly Father’s and Heavenly Father’s responsibility)

When claiming this promise, we must be aware that the Lord’s compassion is not always a warm fuzzy type of love. Sometimes discipline is a form a love as stated by the writer of Hebrews.

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons.
For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

Hebrews 12:7
(our Heavenly Father’s responsibility)

Discipline your son, for there is hope.
Proverbs 19:18
(the Father’s responsibility)

Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path.
Proverbs 23:19
(the Son’s response)

Unfortunately, we live in a society today that often minimizes the role of fathers.  However, we need to remember that according to God, our Heavenly Father, fathers are extremely important in the development of their sons and daughtersThe Bible illustrates the correlation between our earthly fathers and God our heavenly father. With this in mind, let us take time Sunday to be obedient to one more verse of scripture.

Honor your father … so that you may live long in the land
the LORD your God is giving you.

Exodus 20:12
(the Son’s response)
(Our response!)

gold apple new

Author’s Note: I have only used the terms “father” and “son” because this blog highlights Father’s Day. Feminine references are equally applicable in many of the instances.


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