Musings on the Responsibilities of Fathers


Today, Sunday June 19th, 2011 is the day in the American culture set aside to give Honor to Fathers. We take time to let our Father’s know we care about the impact they have had in our lives. Perhaps we even take time even reflecting on what they have done in our life. The fact is that being a Father is a tremendous God-given responsibility. A Father plays a vital role in the development of children. Each Father is a reflection to their children of God the Father. And each Father ultimately falls short of measuring up to the full responsibilities. Some fail to measure up intentionally committing great evils, some are absent or neglectful, and others simply stumble; but all falter. Yet, it is important to note that what Fathers do and are responsible for is vital and weighty. In thinking about the responsibilities of Fathers there are four essential responsibilities that come to mind: Authority, Provision, Protection, and Education. There are probably other words that can be added but these four seem to be at the core. Lets briefly look at each.

A Father is to be the authority of the home. As such, a Father provides two elements of authority: leadership and discipline. A father is to be the final say, the one to set the course, provide the vision for the family. He is to consider what is good for each and every member of the family and is responsible to make decisions for the welfare of all. He also is to be the final authority, the one who establishes the boundaries and the consequences. Most of us have heard uttered either in our own families or in forms of cultural entertainment the statement “Just wait till your dad gets home.” A Fathers responsibility really starts with the provision of authority. Sometimes the things we get upset with our Fathers over are the ways we do not like how our Father operated in this responsibility but if we examine it from the view of the weight of responsibility thoughts can change from how our Fathers failed to measure up, to how they attempted to attend to the responsibility of authority.

A Father is the provider for the family. He is the one ultimately responsible to see to it that the needs are met of all in the family. Being the provider goes toward seeing that what is necessary is always address and what is desired at times can be provided, and when not able to be provided, explaining the lack. Sometimes as children we can get our wants and desire confused with what is necessary. We can also disagree with how what was necessary was provided. In general, most Fathers do their best with what they knew how to do to be a provider. Being responsible for the wholeness and well being of all in family is a immense responsibility.

A Father is also the source of protection in a family. He is the one who is to address and deal with any potential threats. Being a protector goes hand in hand with being a provider but is different. A Father needs to be alert for the dangers that could come. They are responsible to know the strengths and weaknesses of self and every member of their family. They are responsible to see to the safety of each family member physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Given that each one of us are created in very unique this responsibility is a unique challenge. The other part of the responsibility is when harm comes, to be able to encourage and build up those in family from the wounds of life and cope with the suffering. This responsibility is very tough and it is very easy to misunderstand or not even depths of what can happen in each family member’s life.

A Father is also responsible to provide education. A Father is responsible for building up all in their family and helping them grow. As such, a Father takes time to understand where their children are at and help them develop. This responsibility also requires a great deal of patience and understanding. It is an area where one can easily fall short, missing the way that best matches each individual. Each Father works at educating and easily falter, as no matter how wise the father, it is easy to miss the most effective way to pass on what needs to be taught and easily frustrated when the lessons go unlearned.

Now, here is the amazing thing. God the Father, perfectly meets each responsibility in our life. We may not always perceive that truth as we often have our views obscured by our perceptions of our earthly Father’s weaknesses. No matter what we lacked in our earthly Fathers, the Heavenly Father lives up to all Fatherly responsibilities perfectly. We may not always grasp, for God interacts with us for what is best for us individually. It may not always match, but He knows up perfectly, for He created us. Our earthly Fathers learn as they go, trying to do things differently than their Dad did and falling short in their own unique ways but most trying to live up to responsibilities in an honorable way. And those that do not try, there will be Justice, for our Heavenly father will see to that in perfectly demonstrating love and matching each responsibility perfectly.

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One Response

  1. Thanks for sharing…true words to heed!

    God bless you, my friend!

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