“My children come first in my life!” You have got to be kidding me.
I have heard too many parents make a similar statement with emphasis. If the statement was only made by single parents, then I would have little basis for the next few hundred words. However, I have heard that misplaced priority statement from many married parents.
I’m sorry married parents. Your children cannot come first in your life. Your spouse comes first and then together you both rear your children.
Before you get too upset let me explain. Yes, I am a parent of three children. By God’s grace, the oldest two have been successfully reared in the fear and knowledge of our Heavenly Father. They are married and are living as responsible adults.
Our firstborn, Will, is married to Alex. Our lovely middle child, Brittany, is married to Jeremy. If I gave the four of them a paragraph each in my blog, they could share stories of my failed attempts at godly parenting. They would also tell you that I do okay with my number one.
Who is that? That would by my wife and not my children. You see, I believe the number one priority of a godly father is to be the best husband he possibly can (tweet this).
Peter gave this admonition, “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them (your wives) with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
How do you go about fulfilling this priority as a godly father? Let me explain.
A godly father walks with wisdom. His duty is to understand his wife. He lives with her according to knowledge. Proper husbandry involves being a student of the woman you love. Even though you will never master your subject, keep studying her. Learn her habits, desires, and tendencies. Serve her by loving her so much that you could complete most of her sentences and fulfill her desires before she forms them with words. This is a love that sacrifices. The Bible tells you, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
With the standard of Christ in place, every father has room to grow in wisdom (tweet this). Such wise treatment of your wife is the best example you could place before your children.
A godly father demonstrates worth. He takes seriously his responsibility to honor his wife. One of the greatest means of honoring the wife God gave you is to live according to the commitment you made on your wedding day. The commitment of that day determined how you would steward your life “til death do us part.” Living according to Proverbs 5:15-23 is a great way to honor her. It involves telling your body where to drink from, your mind whom to rejoice about, and your eyes where they should rest.
As a Christian father, you should not be constantly embarrassing your wife by failing to demonstrate her worth. Rear your children properly by showing worth to their mother.
A godly father heeds this warning. He understands that failing to walk in wisdom and demonstrate worth for his wife will hinder his prayers. Peter describes the husband and wife unit as joint heirs of God’s grace. The biblical view of marriage is that the two are joined to become one. Your prayer life is at its peak when you heed this warning in Peter’s counsel. To be blunt, God does not honor the prayers of a husband who is in the constant practice of sinning against his wife (see Psalm 66:18). If that describes you, I urge you to repent and get right with God and the woman you love. God will honor your prayer of repentance.
Let this warning settle in as a guard at the door of your heart. By God’s grace, you can espouse this marital counsel and be a godly father.
Once again, we see that every word of God is pure. He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him (Proverbs 30:5). Man of God, let this be the leadership you provide. Father knows best and has shown us how.
Pray with me. “Father, please help me to be the husband and father You have called me to be and Your word teaches me to be. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
How are you doing as a godly father? Is it all good in your fatherhood? Let me know here how to pray for you. Do you follow my line of thoughts with prioritizing marriage as a responsible way to parent? Share some feedback in the comment section and pass this along to someone who might appreciate it.