Four Bible Fathers in Active Parenting Roles

Updated on May 30, 2020
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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 | Source

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.” | Source

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." | Source

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

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    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      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.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      4 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      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.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      3 months ago from Dubai

      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.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

      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.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      3 months ago from Fresno CA

      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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • Brenda Arledge profile image

      BRENDA ARLEDGE 

      3 months ago from Washington Court House

      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.

    • profile image

      Antonio50S 

      3 months ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Devika Primic 

      3 months ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Antonio50S 

      3 months ago

      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.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

      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.

    • profile image

      Antonio50S 

      3 months ago

      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.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      3 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Well presented. Interesting article.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 months ago from USA

      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.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      3 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      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.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

      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.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • justthemessenger profile image

      James C Moore 

      3 months ago from The Great Midwest

      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."

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      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. :)

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 

      3 months ago from Richmond, VA

      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.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      3 months ago from Sunny Florida

      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 profile image

      manatita44 

      3 months ago from london

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

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      3 months ago from UK

      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.

    • profile image

      Mavis Chiverton 

      3 months ago

      Inspiring

    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      3 months ago from Roanoke

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

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

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

    • profile image

      KC McGee 

      3 months ago from Where I belong

      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

    working

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