Ephesians 6:4: Fathers

Father’s Day is approaching soon, but it has been called ‘an awkward holiday.’ It will not only be awkward because of the token gifts which seem to trivialize it, as has happened to Mother’s Day. It will not only be awkward because of the many who have toxic fathers who have been a source of trauma and abuse. It will be awkward because of the sexual revolution we are a part of and the attack on the nuclear family. The transgender revolution has created a situation where natural women identifying as men who give birth to children do not fit into the traditional categories. For this reason we are seeing the attempt to change Mother’s Day to Birthing Parent Day; and I guess Father’s Day will become Donating Parent or Impregnating Parent’s Day. The awkwardness created by the ideology driving the transgender revolution continues as we enter our new section in Ephesians 6:4, ‘Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.’ We are taking the opportunity here to drill down and explore some expanded biblical principles on parenting, as we did with children.

We have spent some time looking at children and obedience, and now we want to allow this verse to open up for us some of the biblical teaching around parenthood. Some have made the argument that the use of the word ‘father’ here is inclusive of mothers, just as the biblical use of ‘brother’ is inclusive and means brothers and sisters. I think this is less probable and so I want to begin by addressing the matter of fatherhood. Then we will go on to look at the Biblical model of parenting as representing Christ as prophets, priests and kings.