by John Barnett

Fathers of the Word
John Barnett

In "FATHERS OF THE WORD," we're going to look at four photos of dads in God's Word - Job, Noah, Abraham, and Eli. And, as you can tell, if you know your Bible, we'll be studying three good guys and one bad guy. We're going to learn what a father of the Word looks like from a positive and a negative perspective. We're going to look at the positive attributes that God honored in the lives of Job, Noah, and Abraham. Then we'll look at what God rebuked in the life of Eli. We can really draw lessons from both their failures and successes.

FATHERS HAVE A BIG CHALLENGE. One of the questions I often ask men who have raised children is, "Would you do it any differently?" I listen carefully and try to learn from those ahead of me in their earthly pilgrimages. Do you know what? The changes they often share are so easy to implement even today. No matter where you are in the parenting process. One father summed it up this way. He said:

"My family's all grown, and the kids are all gone. But, if I had to do it all over again, this is what I'd do:

I would love my wife more in front of my children.

I would laugh with my children more - at our mistakes and our joys.

I would listen more, even to the littlest child.

I would be more honest about my own weaknesses, never pretending perfection.

I would pray differently for my family - instead of focusing on them, I'd focus on me.

I would do more things together with my children.

I would encourage them more and bestow more praise.

I would pay more attention to little things, like deeds and words of thoughtfulness.

And then, finally, if I had to do it all over again, I would share God more intimately with my family; every ordinary thing that happened in every ordinary day I would use to direct them to God."

This explains why Charlie Shedd made one of his original promises to his tiny son, Peter:

I hope that I will be able to make knowing God ...

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