The book of Job gives many life lessons from which to glean: dealing with tragedy, handling depression, overcoming grief, experiencing death, encountering bitter relationships, mysteries of the afterlife, the creation, the existence of man, and ultimately the providence of God. However, as you study Job’s life one thing is often overlooked- his attributes as a godly father.
When looking for material on family, parenting, or fatherhood one would assume that the best material would be from the latest and greatest author who understands our time, our culture, and our generation. But that’s what makes the Word of God so powerful. It is for all times, all cultures, and all generations, including our own. It is interesting to note that Job is the oldest book in the canon of Scripture, yet in many ways it is the most modern and the most relevant to our times. Although over 6,000 years have come and gone since Job lived on the earth, his example should be observed by all men, especially those with children.
1. As a Father, He was a Man of Character
Job was a man of position, possessions, prominence, and prosperity; but before the Bible mentioned what Job had, it detailed who Job was. He was a perfect and upright man, one that feared God, and eschewed evil. Job lived with integrity, honesty and character. Spurgeon said, “Lose all that you have except your character. For when all is lost, at least you can still live with yourself.” We can wear our masks, manage our facades, and play our parts, but our children know the “real” us. Does your life match your lips at home?
2. As a Father, He was a Man of Commitment
Job was committed to the spiritual well-being of his household. In the first chapter of Job, he is found interceding for his children. He was involved with their lives, and knew what was going on a day to day basis. He actually offered sacrifice upon the altar for each of them (he had 7 sons, and 3 daughters); in so doing, he invested in their spiritual development. Oftentimes we invest the wrong things into the lives of our children. We spend time, energy, and effort on temporal things. Job was not an absent father. He was there for them, and kept up with their lives. He also knew they were not perfect, and therefore sought God on their behalf.
3. As a Father, He was a Man of Consistency
Job’s life was marked with consistency. He prayed for his family continually. When he lost all his possessions and experienced the death of his children, Job remained steadfast in his integrity and maintained his relationship with God. One of the greatest weaknesses we all have as men of God is inconsistency. Living with consistency is the heartbeat of influence. Without it our life will be full of disorder and chaos. Not only that, our children will struggle in finding stability and strength. Dad, your kids need you to be a godly father every day of the week! They need to see you modeling godliness in a consistent fashion.
4. As a Father, He was a Man of Communion
One of the greatest attributes of Job’s life was his relationship with God. He did not allow the tragedies that engulfed him to separate him from the Lord. Although he was forced to the ground with the great burden and pressures of despair, he chose to worship the Lord once he fell. Although he didn’t choose the weight, he did choose the worship, and maintained communion with God. The greatest gift we can give our children is our own relationship with God. Our kids need to see us in prayer, reading our Bibles, faithfully attending church and staying committed to the work of the Lord.
5. As a Father, He was a Man of Compensation
Although Job lost it all, God richly blessed him in the latter years of his life. As a matter of fact, God doubled his material possessions and gave him 10 more children. Job’s faithfulness as a father proved that it indeed pays to serve God.
As men of God the greatest responsibilities we have falls under the categories of husband and father. These two positions actually qualify us for ministry. Therefore, when we neglect our God-given obligations to family we actually prohibit our effectiveness and influence. In the attempts at building empires, we too often allow our own homes to crumble. I believe we thoroughly fail if we succeed at things that have no divine purpose.