By Jennifer Waddle, Crosswalk.com
To hold something close means to grip tightly or embrace securely. For dads, this often means holding on to whatever strength they have to meet their families' needs. They cling to job security in a world where nothing is secure. They grip the steering wheel of life, trying to navigate the unexpected turns. And they embrace their responsibilities while trying to hold everything together. Dads need all the support they can get!
Fortunately, the Bible not only offers support, but it is also the best parental guide we have. So, for every dad who needs strength for the journey, here are 12 Bible verses to hold close.
"For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just."
Dads, you have been chosen by God in this time and place to direct your children in the ways of the Lord. By doing what is right and just, you are a living example to them - an example of what it means to follow God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.
"And this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him."
Dads, you have the opportunity to bless your children with words of wisdom for the future. Prayerfully consider the words you speak and let them be a legacy of life for future generations.
3. Exodus 14:13
"Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today."
Dads, it's okay to admit when you're afraid. God knows. He sees. Stand firm in your faith and know that the Lord will bring you deliverance in His time. You can trust Him - even in this.
"Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."
Dads, of all the things to teach your kids, impress upon them the commands of God. Talk about them often, display them in your own life, and invite your children to discuss why the Lord's standards are for their best.
5. Joshua 1:9
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Dads, I know it's easy to feel discouraged. After all, you have a lot on your plate. However, I encourage you to let God be your strength. Seek Him daily and know He is with you wherever you go.
6. Joshua 24:15
"But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."
Dads, it's easy to let things fly under the radar. You know the things -compromises that seem harmless but can lead your children astray. Decide today that you and your household will serve the Lord. Share this decision with your family and invite them to join you.
"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in."
Dads, don't be afraid to discipline. Instead of viewing it as punishment, view it as a guidance that can course-correct your child onto the narrow path. The Lord disciplines those he loves. Let His example motivate you to love your children enough to discipline them appropriately.
"Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching."
Dads, you have SO much wisdom to give! Don't underestimate your powerful instruction. Your children need guidance and sound teaching. Please be the one who is willing to give it. Your heavenly Father will give you wisdom when you ask, so ask God for the wisdom you need to guide your children along the way.
"Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge."
Dads, remember the Proverb that says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10)." Let a holy fear of God lead you as you parent your children. Show them what it means to honor the Lord and revere Him. Encourage them to trust the One who is a refuge in times of trouble.
10. Ephesians 6:4
"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
Dads, sometimes, a lot more can be said with fewer words. Instead of long, drawn-out lectures, why not share the gentle training and instruction of God's Word? Your children love spending time with you, and they likely hang on to your every word. So let your words be intentional and carefully thought out.
11. Colossians 3:21
"Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."
Dads, be an encourager to your children as often as possible. They already face much discouragement in life and need strong words of exhortation that will build them up and not tear them down. Be a positive voice of truth and watch them flourish!
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love."
Dads, as protective fathers of your family, take the words of this passage to heart. Be on guard against the enemy's schemes and stand firm in your faith. Be courageous, even when trials come, and remember to do everything in love. God is love, and whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him (1 John 4:16).
A Prayer for Dads:
Heavenly Father, thank You for each father reading this today. Please strengthen those who feel tired and worn out. If they are discouraged, please encourage them with the truth of your Word. Remind them of the Bible verses shared in this post that they might refer to them in the days ahead. Be with every dad who turns to You for strength, guidance, and wisdom - in Jesus' name.
Jennifer Waddle is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.