Praying was central to the life and earthly ministry of Jesus. His teaching on prayer reveals further his opinion on the most important things in life: relationships, especially our relationship with out heavenly father.
To highlight the importance of relationships, he declared in Matthew 22:37-40,
‘37Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets’
There is nothing more important, more urgent or more pressing than using all of our present and future capabilities, resources and effort to love our father which is in heaven. In fact the next urgent and important thing is the effect of that devotion on our immediate vicinity – relationship with our neighbor and fellow human beings.
So here, among many things, is what Jesus said about our Father: 9Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen (Matthew 6:9-13 KJV)
What? So what? Then what?
Nothing is as important as relationships. Relationship with your father is the most important (qualify).
Honour as holy the name of your father.
[Just as spiritually the name above all others, and the most powerful in the life of a Christian is the name of Jesus; physically the name and identity of your physical father forms your identity, is important, and deserving of an unique honour.] So ‘Hallowed be thy name’ instructs me to love my father and obey his word. Love your father.
‘Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done’
[Your father is the representative of the kingdom, authority and lordship of God on your life]. Obey your father. We can imply from the rest of the Lord’s prayer instructions encouraging us that: Our fathers are chosen by God to be providers, compassionate forgivers, protectors and defenders, and most interested in our life, progress and future.
Main Lesson/ point
Relationship with your father is the most important of all relationships. He should be loved, honoured, obeyed, especially for all he is as your provider (through God), compassionate forgiver, protector and defender, admirer, advocate and leader.
Duties of a father
Obedience to God, the heavenly father!
Doing it God’s way. Becoming a man, then a husband!
After that with your maker, your relationship with your wife is the most important and consequential one. Follow the lead of your heavenly father by following His method and order. Making it to the Kingdom of God. Become a worthy man, then good husband first (1 Cor. 6:9-10, 1 Cor. 7:1-5, Gal. 5:19-21), then a father. This is followed by hard work on your relationship with your wife (Eph. 5:25-30; Col. 3:19; 1 Pet. 3:7).
Bible – guided Stewardship!
Relationship with children is a spiritual stewardship, and should be managed as such. Do everything God’s way (in stewardship being a father take your instructions and examples from the bible). Be subtle with the children (Eph. 6:4, Col. 3:21, Proverb 22.6, Joshua 24.15)
6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6 KJV)
Represent your father!
Represent your heavenly father by being the minister, servant-leader, teacher, trainer and spiritual head. Deut. 6:5-9. Matthew 22:37-40(above)
John 14:15: If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Argument for main point and take home message
Although it is the most important and demanding responsibility with everlasting consequences, it is an honour to be a father. Fathers have God Himself as our example. Let us take time to contemplate, relate to and pray for our fathers!
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
Responsibilities of A Father – Physical And Spiritual, by Dr. Yomi Sanusi was delivered on Father’s Day, 21 June 2015.