The Edifier

West Allen Church of Christ

The Edifier Index

The Value of a Father

W.R. Jones

One father is worth more than a hundred schoolmasters:

IF he has enough conviction to teach his children to "fear God."

A father may teach them many things that are valuable. But, if he does not teach his children to "fear God" he has neglected the most important lesson of all. "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) "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord {men} depart from evil." ( Proverbs 16:6)

IF he will set the right example for his children to follow.

Children trust and follow their parents until they are old enough to understand what it means to trust and follow God. Therefore, it is imperative that a father set the proper example. In Ephesians 6:4 we read, "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." This passage does not imply driving, but leading. A father leads in two ways; teaching and example. He must take care to do both properly. The story is told of a little boy who followed his father out into the deep snow as he headed for the local tavern. Upon hearing a crunching noise behind, the father turned and asked, "What are you doing out here?" to which the little boy replied, "I am walking in your footsteps." Fathers would do well to observe where they are headed.

IF he teaches his children the value of work.

Most of the problems of youth would vanish like "the mist before the king of day" if they were taught to work. Children should be given responsibilities. Idleness is very destructive. "And withal they learn {to be} idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not." (I Timothy 5:13) "Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger." (Proverbs 19:15) In my early days my father was not a faithful Christian, but in spite of that one of the finest things he ever did was to teach me the honor of work.

IF he teaches them that happiness in this life is not produced by "things."

A person is not made truly happy by what he has but by what he is. "Things" are fine, in fact, they are important, but they are low on the scale when it comes to producing happiness. Listen to the words of Jesus, "And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." (Luke 12:15) Young people should be taught to work hard, be productive and try to provide well, but never, never build their lives on the foundation of "things." Sooner are later, "things" will let them down.