By Rev. Kenneth W. Hagin
We should always be grateful for examples of a Godly father. Thankfully, I have a number of examples in my life, including my own father, Kenneth E. Hagin, and my father-in-law, V. E. Tipton. Whether in life or in memory, godly fathers teach and train us how to live lives that are pleasing to our Heavenly Father. That’s why Father’s Day is so important. So, I want to take a look at the characteristics of a godly father. The letters f-a-t-h-e-r provide us with a good way to remember these characteristics.
F—Faithful. A godly father is faithful, honors his marriage vows, protects his children, and shows constant allegiance to his Heavenly Father. In Genesis 22, Abraham displayed his faithfulness when he, out of obedience to God, was willing to offer Isaac, his son, as a sacrificial offering. Another example of this faithfulness is God Himself. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that God is faithful to reward those “…that diligently seek him.”
A—Affectionate. A godly father loves his children and shows it. Everyone needs to feel loved. If children do not get the affection they need from their fathers, they will be forced find it elsewhere. But when a father shows affection to the family with a pure and sincere heart, he strengthens and unites the family. Affection instills faith and security in children. If children know that their father is there for them and are confident in his love for them, they will not hesitate to go to their father in their hour of need.
T—Trusting. As a godly father teaches his children biblical principles and moral values by being an example for them to follow, he develops trust and faithfulness in his children. He expects them to make the right decisions when they need to, even when he is not around. Trust between a father and his children generates happiness, hope, confidence, and security. Also, as a father trusts his children more, they trust him more. The more children trust their father, the more confidence they have in trusting God.
H—Honorable. A godly father is honest and meets his obligations promptly. In doing so, he protects the integrity of his family’s name. Even if the father doesn’t realize it, his children watch him. If children observe their father taking exception to rules, they will see the exception and take it as the rule. And it has been said that what parents do in moderation, children will do in excess. As a godly father lives a life above reproach, he lays a path for his children to walk uprightly before the Lord.
E—Energetic. A godly father is not slothful or lazy. He provides for his family. Paul’s instructions to men in the treatment of wives would also apply to treatment of the whole family. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” The godly father gives of himself to his family. He spends energy on his children; he pays attention to them. He also teaches his children—by example—to spend their energy helping other people and not just themselves.
R—Rewarded. A godly father is rewarded. By raising his children in a godly manner, he is rewarded by seeing his children mature and achieve success. I have always had more pleasure watching Craig and Denise achieve things than I did in achieving things for myself. And what a joy it is to see your children make quality decisions on their own, hearing from God for themselves! What a reward it is to see Craig and Denise both working with us in this ministry. It’s rewarding to see your children grow up and bless others with what they do!
I challenge all fathers to be godly fathers. Your children are watching. People in your community, your neighborhood, and even in your church are watching. There may be children around you who do not have natural fathers to look up to. Be an example for them. Be a godly father!