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Four Bible Fathers in Active Parenting Roles

MsDora—parent, grandparent, Christian counselor—offers suggestions on raising confident, conscientious, responsible, productive children.

Four Bible Fathers In Active Parenting Roles

Four Bible Fathers In Active Parenting Roles

No parent is perfect, and this fact may scare some into worrying about the effectiveness of their parenting skills. The good news is that successful parenting emphasizes persistence over perfection. Just keep at it!

The following examples extracted from the lives of four Bible fathers suggest parenting habits that are worthy of imitation. Fathers especially, will be inspired to adopt them in their efforts to become the proactive parents their children need. All quotations are from the New King James Version.

Jonadab: He Taught By Example

“Then I [Prophet Jeremiah] set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites bowls full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, ‘Drink wine.’ But they said, ‘We will drink no wine. . . Thus we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he charged us.’” (Jeremiah 35: 5, 6,8)

Jonadab was dead for about three hundred years, when God chose his descendants to illustrate obedience to the Israelites. Not even the prophet could persuade the Rechabites to disobey their father’s instructions. Meanwhile, the Israelites habitually broke their covenant with God. God instructed Jeremiah to showcase the Rechabites as models of the loyalty and obedience which He expected.

Jonadab’s long-standing influence was due to the fact that he taught by example. He taught loyalty to religion, and demonstrated his own loyalty in his fight against idolatry, alongside Jehu who stamped out Baal worship. (2 Kings 10). He demonstrated his instruction to his descendants to live in tents, so they could easily move away from sacrilegious neighbors who might have surrounded them.

Fathers today are not called to repeat Jonadab’s instructions, but to learn from his example that the children pay serious attention when father also does what he tells them to do. God promised that Jonadab (also called Jehonadab) will always have a descendant in His service.

"Teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born.”

"Teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born.”

Manoah: He Prayed A Prenatal Prayer

“Then Manoah prayed to the Lord, and said, “O my Lord, please let the Man of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born.” Judges 13:8

While Manoah’s wife was barren, an angel appeared to her and promised she would bear a child. The angel also gave instructions on how to raise the child as a Nazirite, to begin the deliverance of the Israelites from the Philistines. When Manoah heard the news, he prayed for the heavenly being to return, not because he had any doubt, but because he yearned for clarity on how to do his part right.

Prenatal concern is the responsibility of the father as much as the responsibility of the mother. Manoah is an encouragement for fathers to get involved in the well-being and training of the child, right from the start. Although his son Samson detoured from God's plan, he could not shake off the conviction of his early training. Eventually he fulfilled the purpose for which he was born. (Judges 16: 29,30)

Jacob: He Renamed His Child

“And so it was, as her [Rachel’s] soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-Oni; but his father [Jacob] called him Benjamin. (Genesis 35:18)

Every father can see himself in Jacob, at various stages of his life. He was the runaway rebel, the spiritual overcomer, and everything in between. Here, at the birth of his twelfth son, he exhibited the maturity of an old man with parental wisdom.

The child’s mother was Rachel, Jacob’s favorite wife, and she was dying. According to Ellicot’s Commentary, “her feeling was that the life of her offspring was purchased by her own pain and death.” She named the boy Ben-Oni, meaning “son of my sorrow.” But that name would be a constant reminder to Jacob of his wife’s suffering. At some point, he would have to explain it to the boy who would in turn feel that he contributed to his mother’s death, and doubt his significance.

So Jacob renamed his son Benjamin, which means “son of my right hand.” Jacob knew his own worth, having wrestled with God and prevailed –and having been renamed Israel. (Genesis 32: 24-28). Instead of having his son walk around in self-pity, he wanted Benjamin to walk around feeling worthy, “very dear to me, the support of my age, like the staff in my right hand.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary)

Here is a reminder for fathers to have input in the naming of their children, and to choose names which promote their worthy aspirations. Saul, who was renamed Paul, and charged with spreading the gospel to the Gentiles, was from the tribe of this same Benjamin. (Philippians 3: 5)

“Being a dad is my most important job."

“Being a dad is my most important job."

Job: He Interceded for His Children

“He would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, ‘It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ Thus Job did regularly.” (Job 1:5).

Before Job succumbed to the suffering for which he is best known, the Bible records that he was a pious family man. His seven sons and three daughters met often to celebrate birthdays, feast days and whatever occasioned a happy family gathering. Job feared that in their merriment they might neglect their spirituality. Just in case they did, he assumed his role as priest of his family and atoned for their sins. And it is well that he did, because as a result of the evil attack on him, all his children died together during one of these celebrations (Job 1: 18,19).

We wonder how Job survived the loss of his ten children in one event, but his continual intercession on their behalf rendered them eternally safe. What a sobering thought for parents who might be so distracted by their children’s conduct, that they spend more time worrying than praying!

Job’s habit of intercession is a reminder for parents to trust God for their children’s salvation. God loves them more than we do, and He is more capable than we are to protect them from or in life's perils.

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© 2020 Dora Weithers

Comments

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 24, 2020:

Thanks, Lori. There are no perfect dads, lest young dads become frustrated at their inabilities; but many dads demonstrate a strength which is an encouragement to others, to be the best dad that they could be.

Lori Colbo from Pacific Northwest on August 23, 2020:

I think Job is my favorite Dad. He understood the necessity and responsibility to pray for his children and he certainly lived a godly life as an example. I don't see very many great dad's in the Bible so this was a blessing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 23, 2020:

Thanks, Peggy. You're right. What a challenge that is for parents to be consistent in doing the right thing.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 23, 2020:

Being a good role model for children is one of the essential parts of being a good parent. Children learn from what they see as well as what they learn in other manners.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 18, 2020:

Thanks, Nithya. True, active parenting is tough, and we are grateful for those who model parenting that we can learn from.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 18, 2020:

These are all great examples of being a great father, thank you for sharing. Being an active parent and doing the right thing by our children is a tough job and prayer for our children and for us as parents will be the best.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 10, 2020:

True, Denise. The same is true of Samson. He was rebellious for a while, but as mentioned, he fulfilled the purpose for which he was born. It takes longer to get through to some kids than it takes to reach others.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on June 09, 2020:

I think it is also on the part of the children to decide to obey their father's voice. Even the best father cannot make them if they don't want to. I think of the rebellion of Billy Graham's son. He did return to the teaching of his father but only after many years of rebellion.

Blessings,

Denise

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 04, 2020:

Thanks, Brenda. There's so much we can learn from these Bible characters, even on parenting. Happy to share.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 04, 2020:

Anthony, one of the benefits of being alive is that we can learn something more, so let's keep learning.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 04, 2020:

Thanks, Devika. Happy to share information which I find helpful. Thanks for your encouraging comment.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on June 03, 2020:

Wow Dora! These examples are quite amazing.

The last one ( job) where he prays for his children knowing God will do what is best for them is awesome.

Not to mention Jonadab where he leads by example. I guess that throws out the saying do as i say not as i do as a poor example.

Love your writing lady.

Thanks for sharing.

Antonio50S on June 03, 2020:

Hello Dora.

Thanks to my first Criric i think i managed to work out the difference between 'Your' and 'You're'.

I know it's only words, but the time and effort we take to learn the difference says something about us, and the time we take to teach it to others also says something about us. Either way, you were both right. Both had something to teach, but the way we teach it can make all the difference. "Jonadab's long-standing influence was due to the fact that he tought by example"

( It's OK though ) We're all learning.

Tony.

Devika Primic on June 02, 2020:

Hi Dora you write interesting and informative articles. You enlighten us on life itself and of how we are affected by everything around us including parenting tricks.

Antonio50S on June 02, 2020:

Thank you Dora.

When i said your writing is really good, i was referring to all the good Subjects you write about, but your spelling is "Really Good" ( Unlike mine )

What i was trying to say about ( Judges 13 ) and Samson is the way God sees us. Samson made a lot of mistakes, and as people we may tend to Judge others by their past mistakes, but God goes beyond that and sees whats in the heart and potential of a person. A good father should always do that to their children as well.

Tony.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 01, 2020:

Anthony, thanks for your contribution. Glad that you are doing well, and yes, your writing is improving. We all grow through our participation on HubPages.

Antonio50S on June 01, 2020:

To MsDora.

Oh no no no. You've only gone and done it again. What a Great subject on parenting. Really well written.

I was just reading them fruits of the spirit in ( Galatians 5 ) I'm sure they would help any Father become a better parent as well.

Also last week, I was sitting in a park reading that very chapter you mentioned. ( Judges 13 ) as well as 14, 15, 16

Something very interesting about Samsons strength. In chapter 16 Samson reveals his strength was in his hair, but in reality it was because of the "Nazirite Vow" not to shave his head. When he allowed that to happen by revealing the secret, "God's spirit left or departed from Samson" ( Judges 16:20 )

Samson asked God for strength one more time, and despite all of Samsons faults, weaknesses, and mistakes. He was mentioned in ( Hebrews 11 ) as an example of faith, especially when he said "Remember and strengthen me just once more" ( Judges 16:28 )

God always remembers his children. He may feel sad when they leave him, but he ALWAYS returns to those who return to him, and Children are more likely to open that door in ( Rev 3:20 ) when they see good parenting examples, but we should NEVER Put-Down our children or "exasperate" them which really is Psychological and Emotional Abuse which hinders them Spiritually. ( Ephesians 6:4 )

Dora. If you don't mind me saying, your writing is really good, and i think my Spelling is getting better as well. I do remember my first Critic on spelling. A Lady on HP. She was absolutely right :) as you was as well Dora.

I like to thank both of you for that.

Hope this wasn't too long.

Tony.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 01, 2020:

Thank you, Umesh. Your comment is encouraging. I appreciate you.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on June 01, 2020:

Well presented. Interesting article.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 31, 2020:

Flourish, thanks for your affirmation on the importance of naming the children. You seem happy about your dad's choice.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 31, 2020:

One’s name is so important because it impacts self-concept as well as how people perceive you. It also has very tangible impacts. My dad picked my middle name.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 31, 2020:

Thank you, Pastor Bill. God is good to us oldies in giving us a second chance to help parent our kids' kids.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on May 31, 2020:

You shared some really good, practical examples, Dora. Although my children are all on their now, ti gives me much to think about - maybe for my grandchildren/ Thanks for this post.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 30, 2020:

Thanks, James. Father deserve all the love we can give them. I commend all those who demonstrate that verse you quoted (Proverbs 13:22).

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 30, 2020:

Thanks, Bill. You might have done better than you thought and surely, God helped. Congratulations!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 30, 2020:

Thank you, Rev Margaret. I do enjoy these Old Testament characters, and am happy to share. These fathers deserve to be known.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 30, 2020:

Pamela, thanks for your encouraging comment. Yes, fathers do not always get the praise they deserve.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 30, 2020:

Thanks, Manatita. You comment always mean a lot to me. I had a great Sabbath in fellowship with friends.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 30, 2020:

Liz, thanks for your feedback. Bible Study is my passion and it is a pleasure to share.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 30, 2020:

Mavis, thanks for your feedback. Happy when my readers find some inspiration.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 30, 2020:

Cheryl, thanks for stopping by. Let's keep sharing and enlightening each other.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 30, 2020:

Eric, Gabriel is a good name; so is any other name that ends in the Hebrew "el." You've shown us time and again in your articles that you are passionately performing your duty as dad. Sure, God will bless your efforts.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 30, 2020:

Thanks, KC. We never graduate from parenting, but we best if we keep active on the job. Blessings to you, too.

James C Moore from The Great Midwest on May 30, 2020:

Good to see you giving love to fathers. The examples you've given of biblical dads shows the truth of Proverbs 13:22 "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children."

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2020:

I could have used these verses thirty years ago. I was flying blind without a GPS back then. Somehow my son turned our fairly rational. :)

Margaret Minnicks from Richmond, VA on May 30, 2020:

Ms.Dora, thanks for writing this article especially since Father's Day will be very soon. It was nice for you to include both well-known fathers (Jacob and Job) along with two (Jonadab and Manoah) who are not as well known.

You usually give readers something to think about. This article is no exception.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 30, 2020:

This is a wonderful article. I do think teaching your children by example is a very effective way to teach them. I know the father always has an important role as well. I thoroughly enjoyed this article, Ms Dora.

manatita44 from london on May 30, 2020:

Interesting thoughts on prayer, parenting and of some biblical examples. Have a great Saturday.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 30, 2020:

In the UK we celebrate Father's Day in 3 weeks, so this is a very timely article. I appreciate the way in which you have drawn my attention to parts of the Bible that I might otherwise overlook.

Mavis Chiverton on May 29, 2020:

Inspiring

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on May 29, 2020:

Great article MS. Dora. Thank you for this pefspective.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 29, 2020:

Very nicely done. My son's name Gabriel is no accident. I have decided to just do my best. God will show a way.

KC McGee from Where I belong on May 29, 2020:

Ms. Dora,

I'm sure glad I took the time to read this. It was well worth it. Parenting is one of the most difficult jods. As much then as it is now.

Great article and many blessing