“Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham: for a father of  many nations have I made thee”  (Genesis  17:5).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
       The word “father” means progenitor, and this is exactly what Abraham was told by God that he would become.  This new name that now identified Abraham was an important part of the covenant God made with Abram.  This covenant is referred to as the “Abrahamic Covenant.”  Abraham was to become the father of many nations.  Not only do the Jews trace their ancestry back to Abraham, but because of Ishmael, the middle eastern nations (the Arabic nations) also claim kinship to the man Abraham as well.  
     Although the word “father” does not possess the tenderness of the word “mother,” it does impact the family structure with greater responsibility.  The father’s responsibilities and obligations are many.  Not only is he the head of the family, he is the provider, the protector and the spiritual leader.  Many fathers will play with their children, but too few pray with them.  Many fathers will teach their children skills that will help equip them for a secular life, but too few teach their children Scriptures that will mold them for their spiritual life.
     Fathers lead by example, even though, at times, they may not realize it.  Therefore, the responsibilities of a father become even greater.  It is imperative that a father realize that his words as well as his deeds are helping to mold his children to become a facsimile of himself.  A father needs to show his children much love; this instills within them a feeling of security and well being.  It is not unmanly to tell your child “I love you.”  A father must be the authority within the home; he must establish rules and exercise chastening (correction) when his rules and guidelines are disobeyed.  “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes” (Proverbs 13:24).   Most importantly, a father needs to have a tender heart for his children’s spiritual welfare.  This means prayer in the home, Bible reading in the home, and attending church together as a family.  Doing these things will surely make your family structure stronger.  It is you leading by example those very things that are most important.
   The world says, “The family that plays together stays together.”  We know that is not so.  The Word says, “The family that prays together stays together.”  We know that to be true.  Be a real father by being a spiritual example.  Your children need you.
                                                                                                                     Pastor H. Preston Parker