Why So Few Good Bible Dads?


At Christmas we focus on Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus.  Often Joseph gets ignored, but he deserved recognition.  He is one of the best fathers in the Bible.  Becoming a Dad is a simple but being a good Dad is difficult.  Why are there so few good fathers mentioned in the Bible?  The answer is simple. Because there aren’t many good dads around. Fathers are human.  They have a sin nature.  They are far from perfect.  Abraham had 2 sons from different women, and there was conflict in the household.  Isaac had twins, Jacob and Esau.  He played favorites with them (Genesis 26-27).  Jacob had a large family which was full of deceit, rape, murder, regret, anger, adultery and mistrust (Genesis 30-31).  David was a great king but a poor father.  His family was dominated by death, murder, incest, rape, adultery, and rebellion (1 Samuel 13). David was a neglectful, permissive, absent father.  Unfortunately the list could go on.

Fortunately, there are some good fathers mentioned in the Bible.  Job was involved with his children socially and prayed for their spiritual lives (Job 1:4-5). His heart broke when they suffered. He loved and cared for them in a hands-on way.  The father of the Prodigal Son was loving and forgiving. Even after all the misery, selfishness, worry, and grief that the Prodigal Son caused had caused his father, he still responded with forgiveness, acceptance, and rejoicing (Luke 15:11-27).  A man I greatly admire is Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus.  He was a great father. Otherwise, God would have chosen someone else to raise His Son!

Joseph cared for Mary and protected baby Jesus when Herod called for the slaughter of all young boys. As Jesus was growing and maturing, Joseph saw to Jesus’ education and to his spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical needs. Joseph taught Jesus the carpentry trade. The Bible calls Joseph a righteous man. Joseph was a father of quiet strength, honesty, and kindness (Matthew 1).  Jesus and Joseph were very, very close.

We, like Joseph, need to build a solid spiritual foundation in the lives of our children starting from when they are born (2 Timothy 3:15).  We must teach them Bible stories, verses and songs.  These should become an important part of their life.  We must pray for them and with them daily.  We must set an example of Jesus in their life by how we treat them and their mother.  We must raise our children “In the nurture and admonition of the Lord and on his precepts” (Ephesians 6:4). In other words, we need to take the time to read and study the Bible on our own and with our children.  We have a great opportunity to influence them for Jesus starting when they are young.  Nothing is more important.  Make sure you spend time doing this.

Teach your children about God’s love and show it to them by loving them unconditionally, no matter what.  Show that love by words, tender touches and cuddles, acts of service, appropriate gifts and spending lots of time with them.  Learn their love language and how to speak it to them.

Freely share encouragement to help them grow.  Be their cheerleader, not their critic.  Comfort them when they need comfort.  Show respect by how you treat them and their feelings.  Keep them safe and protect them physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Learn to understand your children, and your wife, so you can anticipate and meet their needs.  Don’t be so busy with other things you ignore them.

Maybe you never had a father to do that for you in your own life.  It can be harder to do something you’ve never seen done.  Think of God as your Heavenly Father and treat your children as He treats you.  The Parable of the Prodigal Son should be called the Parable of the Loving Father because that’s really what it teaches.  God is our loving Father and we show our children what He is like by how we treat them.  We are the sovereign authority in control of their life when young.  The example we set is how they will see God when they grow up.  They grow up quickly, so don’t put it off.

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

What are your children learning about God from how you treat them?  Do they see you as too busy for them, impatient with them, critical of them or bothered by them?  Or do they see you as someone who unconditionally loves, respects and helps them?





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