Fathers have an awesome responsibility that needs to be taken seriously. Perhaps this is why the enemy seems to be so bent on discouraging fathers, so they will not walk in their responsibilities. It doesn't take much to discourage a father because the task is a big one and this is why they need all the encouragement possible. This is why they need a supportive and encouraging wife.
I am a fortunate and rich man because of my wife. She never takes away from me but constantly adds to me, equipping me to be a better father. She gently points out from time to time little things I may have overlooked and often it is in those small details that they greatest parts of the responsibilities lie.
Fathers are encouragers, supporters, enablers, life coaches. Yet they are so much more. They are an example of true manliness to their sons and daughters. How they treat their wife sets the tone for their sons and seeds into their daughter the kind of husband they should seek.
Fathers have the tremendous responsibility to demonstrate Jesus to his children and to be the spiritual leader over the family. He sets the example of holiness, dedication, service, fortitude, perseverance, determination, faithfulness and faith. His children will measure good and evil by this example and how they seek a relationship with Jesus will spring from this, because a father must disciple his children.
Fathers are also correctors which is something the enemy is definitely trying to guilt fathers out of because if fathers don't correct, the enemy can do what he wants. Correction is something we all face, must learn how to accept, and how to grow from it. Fathers must accept this responsibility because if we don't, we risk raising children like the sons of Eli.
Eli knew what his sons were doing and he spoke with them about it:
“Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the Lord’s people transgress. If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?” (1 Samuel 2:23-25)
Samuel spoke with them but sometimes words don't work. Sometimes when Yahweh corrects us he speaks to us through his Word and other people. But when we do not listen, he will use hardships to bring correction. Not my opinion, it is the Word that tells us so. (Hebrews 12) Eli should have removed his sons to save their lives. He should have corrected them for the sake of them, the family and the people of Israel. But he didn't. Even though he was aware of what they were doing he left them in their responsibilities. It resulted in the death of all of them and ushered in a difficult period for Israel.
A father's correction does not bring death but life. The discipline you apply today could save your child's life tomorrow. More importantly, that correction could keep them from spiritual death. It is not easy for a father to correct from the motivation of love. Often we resent being put in that position and even become angry. So we either avoid correction or over correct in anger. We need to correct with the perspective of our Father, for the benefit of our children.
It is not easy being a father and the responsibility can feel heavy at times. I should know, having eleven children of my own. I know what it is to feel like a complete failure and to be a complete failure. I know what it is to look at situations and problems that I have created by not standing in my responsibility. I own my mistakes but I also surrender my mistakes to the One who brings healing and restoration. Fathers, we are not alone in our tasks. If we seek the Lord he will give us wisdom. We are told to ask for it and believe that we have received it. Let the motivation of everything we do be love, including correction, and our children will call us blessed in our old age. Our children need their fathers and the Lord is asking us to stand in our responsibilities. Will you stand?