I have read so much on the different roles of man within the church and in regards to the family unit. However it is unfortunate to say not much attention has been given to what fatherhood really is. Personally I think it’s impossible to discuss this without examining the personality and role of the “Father of Fathers” – Abraham.
For this reason here are my personal ideas on this man’s incredible life, and the 6 things we should take away from his life and apply to our lives as men.
1. He was a great ruler of his household. He was the priest of his house. When God told him to get out of Haran and into the wilderness of Ur – he had to not only take Sarai his wife but also his whole livelihood. His herdsmen, his cattle, his sheep and oxen. It wasn’t an easy move but he had great command of his troops – Simply Abraham must of been chief and commander of his household.
2. He was the centre of strength and motivation. On his journey down south from Haran – he was struck by famine. This was a far cry from the wealth and good promised to him by God. He had to have the strength and motivation to continue. He had to have the internal strength to motivate himself to do the will of God as well as an ability to motivate those around him in times of severe struggle. This is true manhood. Another perfect example of this quality is Job who suffered more than anyone.
3. He was a great man of honourable duty and love. When Abraham came to Bethel he had his cousin Lot with him. Their possessions were so great that they had to split. So Abraham tells lot to choose which way he wants to go. So lot goes towards the fertile land of Jordan while Abraham remained in Cannan. Lot was captured by four kings and his family was destroyed. When Abraham heard of this, he didn’t choose to ignore this but girded his 318 servant warrior and they went and fought to return Lot back to his prestige. There is not much need for me to say more on this, but the pride he had in his family and his ability to help those that are in need is beyond words! A man of his words.
4. Abraham was a source of Blessing for the whole household. From the very outset Abraham obeyed the word of God. Even though he fell and erred several times it’s purely wonderful the amount of blessings the lord bestowed upon him and his household.
a. He would have as many descendents as the Stars of the Sky and the Sand of the Sea
b. He was the source of protection in his family – Remember the incident with Pharaoh and Sarai. If it wasn’t for this man’s Godliness, the punishment of lying to Pharaoh was Death!
c. He repeated the story of Sarah being his sister again with Abimalech. The lord protected him again that he closed all the wombs of Abimalechs household until he released her.
d. He was the source of fertility in the Family. At the age of 100 he conceived Isaac.
There is so much we can say about Abraham. But suffice to say a pivotal role in the role of man is that he should be the source of blessing to the household.
5. Abraham was the man of Faith and Perfect Father – Whenever we discuss Abraham it is impossible to miss the sacrifice of his loved son Isaac. This is surely the greatest lesson we can learn from him. The man needs to be the centre of faith in the house. He needs to educate his Children in the Fear of God. We often forget Isaac in this story. He wasn’t a young man (20 years) – he did not resist his father’s attempts to tie him down as a sacrifice. He was the son of obedience. So what can we learn from this – Many things however it is suffice to say that Abraham was a role model for his Son. If you examine the life of Isaac you see Abraham in everything he does. The good and the bad- Isaac even lied about Rebekah being his wife in the land of Gerar.
Abraham’s purpose was simply to do the will of God.
Further we cannot forget the Faith he had in sending his servant to find Isaac a wife in the Land of Haran.
6. Abraham was the Royal Priest of the Household – For some unknown reason men forget that a central role of theirs is that they become the Royal Priest of the House. Just as they are adorned with the crown of a king on marriage day, they carry this crown everyday of their lives. Whenever Abraham moved to a new place he would build an altar and offer sacrifice to God. He had an open communication link with God. We must not forget this important aspect of our role. We need to be the spiritual heart of the house. The people who instil the faith in our children. Furthermore man needs to become the intercessor for those around him, just as Abraham interceded with the Lord over the People of Sodom & Gomorrah so that he would not destroy it. He was Godly and the Lord listened to him. It is even written that the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing”.
There is so much more to cover about the role of Man. Perhaps we can look at it again in the near future. However suffice to say if men had these characteristics, the world will be a lot better place than it is today.
This was part of a lesson given to St Barbara & St Noufer’s Sunday School Class Years 10-12 on 20/06/2010.