A child’s understanding of Father God is shaped by his relationship with his earthly father. If a single mom or relatives are raising a child, this fact may seem discouraging. In my own circumstance, a caring grandfather stepped in to provide a father figure for my children. They still had a relationship with their father, but a physical distance limited their time together. As I write the following words about the role of a father, please know that a trusted grandfather, uncle, or good friend can step in to fill some of the gaps left by the absence of a father. Also, it is very helpful to a single mom to have a father figure who will say, “I expect you to show your mother respect when you speak to her. This is a requirement in our/your family.”
Trust and Obedience Affect Relationship with God
Two lessons that directly affect how a child responds to God are obedience and trust. Mothers can teach these lessons, but not as effectively as a father can. Let’s see why these two lessons are important.
Obedience to God Follows Obedience to Parents
If a child learns to be obedient to parents, he or she will carry those lessons into his or her relationship to God. I hear complaints that young people don’t know how to be obedient to teachers, bosses, and law enforcement. While that is cause for concern, the more important lesson to be learned is obedience to God. The others will follow if a child learns obedience in his or her home.
Trust of God Is Learned from a Trustworthy Father
Fathers teach their children to trust, a lesson as important as obedience. A child whose father says, “I will be at your game this afternoon,” and leaves work early to make the game is teaching his child trust. A father who lets his children know the family rules and then stands by them is teaching trust. When he says, “In our family, we do not hurt each other with harsh words,” he can be trusted to make sure the entire family abides by that rule.
Trust and Obedience Are Eternal Gifts
Fathers and surrogate fathers have a big job. Teach your children to be obedient and trusting within the family, and they will know how to be obedient and trusting in their relationship with God. What an eternal gift to give your children.