Happy Heralds, Inc
LAYING FOUNDATIONS FOR A SPIRITUALLY SUCCESSFUL FAMILY LIFE (Ex. 2:1-10: Gen.12:1-8)
by Dr. Fred Wittman
II.A. Beholding Family Roles
Various kinds of accolades are given on Father’s Day. Some are true others are flattering or false. Father’s Day cards are published in several categories: sincere, sarcastic, subtle, comical, secular, and spiritual. The best accolade a father could receive is, “Thank you for being a godly father-figure to our family and for being such a faithful example for us to follow. Thank you for all your encouragement and for giving me such a solid foundation, that when the storms of life hit so hard I was able to stand firm as one well-grounded in The Word of The God. Truly you have given a remarkable inheritance to your grandchildren.”
The Father’s role is crucial, the mother’s role is vital and includes obedience, submission, and support. The best illustration of the father’s role is Abraham, the father of many nations.
A. The Father’s Crucial Role
The father’s role involves five aspects: priest, prophet, provider, protector, prefect (disciplinarian- monitor).
1. Priest (Gen. 12:7,8):
This was Abram’s first responsibility after responding to the call of The God.
a. A Family Altar (Explain ‘call upon’);
(2) Song and Prayer;
b. Intercession (Gen. 18:22-33).
2. Prophet (Gen. 20:7 cf. 22:8) -- two aspects of a prophet is forth-telling and foretelling. Abram was a forth-teller as well as foreteller.
a. Forth-teller (Teacher) -- Abram taught:
(1) Hagar -- the knowledge of The God (Gen. 16:13);
(2) Ishmael - and all the males of his house -- the meaning and requirements of The Covenant (Gen. 17:23,27);
(3) Isaac -- The God’s provision of Christ (The Messiah) and the resurrection (Gen. 22:5-8 cf. Heb. 11:19).
Note the testimony of The God concerning Abraham (Gen. 18:19).
b. Foreteller (prophesier) -- Abraham prophesied:
(1) The testimony of The God to King Abimelech concerning Abraham (Gen. 20:1-7);
(2) Abraham prophesied concerning The Lamb of The God to Isaac (Gen. 22:8 cf Jn. 1:29).
3. Provider (Gen. 13:6; 24:35) of:
a. Essentials of life -- the natural instinct of animal and human beings .
b. Heritage (Gen. 25:5,6)
(1) Material (Gen. 25:5,6; Rom. 12:17b; 1 Tim. 5:8; Prov. 13:22);
(2) Spiritual (Eph. 6:4 ‘bring up’ rather ‘nurture’; 2 Cor. 12:14e,f) (see illustration of Father’s Day cards in the Introduction above);
(3) Marital (Gen. 24:3,4) Abraham gave guidelines for selection of a bride for Isaac to Eliezer, his eldest servant and steward of his possessions.
4. Protector -- guardian (Eph.6:10-18):
It is natural physical instinct to protect physically! Why is it not so to protect spiritually? That it is a fact in many cases that the father and husband does not naturally protect his wife and family is regrettable. But when the master over the father is Sin, a tool of Satan, and not Obedience to The Holy Spirit’s control and Righteousness, spiritual instincts are out of the question.
a. Abraham (Gen. 24:34) -- protected Isaac well. But he did not protect Sarah so well from wrong relationships (Gen. 12:10-20; 16:2-4; 20:1-13).
b. Fortify against Satan’s attacks through prayer and use of The God’s Word. Encourage personal Daily Devotions as well as utilizing the daily family altar to prepare against Satan’s attacks.
c. Teach the daily use of spiritual armor for protection (Eph. 6:10-18). But do not overprotect by overbearing upon your children. Give them space to mature and to develop the use of the armor in times of testing.
5. Prefect -- (disciplinarian- monitor).
My father grew up under the tutelage and education of Girard College, an institution for boys without living fathers. He often spoke of his experience there under the care and responsibility of the prefect when not in classes. There are two aspects of fathers as prefects: nurture and admonition.
a. Nurture -- The Greek equivalent is παιδεία (paideh-éeah) which means child training, discipline, that which is used to correct transgression of laws and ordinances of the household (Prov. 13:24; 19:18; 23:13,14; 29:15,17; 22:15). But do not provoke! (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21).
b. Admonition -- training by encouragement, reproof blame by using words when sufficient, but by using action when required.
c. Discipleship - process each member of the family through discipleship training stage 2 when they reach teenage, then through stage 3 after each reaches age sixteen (Mt. 28:19,20).
Review the five aspects of the father’s crucial role: priest, prophet, provider, protector, prefect (disciplinarian- monitor).
Fathers have an awesome, crucial role before God, if there is to be a successful, spiritually, functional family life. Mothers and children are to submit, obey, support, and cooperate with fathers in every way in order to have joy and receive The God’s glorious blessing.
Unless the father is a priest, a prophet, a provider, a protector, and a prefect, it is unlikely the family will stay together in this present evil age in which family breakups are the norm. A successful, spiritually, functional family is so awesome, yet The God requires it because it is the order He created in the beginning. And He will judge every married couple for the failure of it. But He also enables such a family. However the judgement will be more severe for those who are aware of The God’s. Order and enablement by His Holy Spirit.
You cannot do it alone, that is in your own strength. Only by The God’s enabling is a successful, spiritually, functional family possible! He has provided grace and enabling IF and only if you maintain the proper relationship to The Godhead.
The choice is yours! You can try harder only to fail. Or you can throw up your hands in despair and say, It is impossible! Or you can yield both yourself (body , soul, and spirit) and your marriage (family) to The Godhead for grace, strength, and enabling and let The God salvage your marriage in whatever way He will as you prayerfully wait upon Him. It will not be easy but it is possible. What is your choice? Failure in your own power and strength? Or success in The God’s power and enabling.
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