As a dad, you should be a willing helper to your children. You should look for ways to serve your kids, get your hands dirty, and help them to meet their practical day-to-day needs. You are not called to be passive—simply sitting on the sidelines. No, you are called to more. You are called to step up and help.
The dad who raises godly children will serve as a coach to his kids with clear direction, leading them with love, and winning their hearts. Let’s look at what it takes to live out the biblical trait of a leader—leading our families so we raise godly children.
But You Yourself have seen trouble and grief, observing it in order to take the matter into Your hands. The helpless entrusts himself to You; You are a helper of the fatherless. —Psalm 10:14
Biblical Trait #5: Helper
The Lord has been a great help to me and my wife with our marriage. I was 24 years old when I got married. I had all these aspirations, as you probably did when you got married, and I thought, “If there’s a problem, I’ll fix it.” My wife and I have been married for 27 years and have six beautiful children. But it hasn’t been without its moments.
Growing up my wife’s mother left when my wife was nine years old—never to be seen again. Her father remarried five years later. She got close to her stepmother. Then, her stepmother surprised her and brought four previous children in from a different marriage. What do you think that does to a young girl’s heart? She tells herself, “I will not be hurt again.”
Later, she became a Christian when she was 15 years old. I met her at church when she was about 18 years old. We start getting to know each other and a couple of years later, we start dating. A year or two after that, we get engaged.
As we were engaged, that’s when I got relationally close. I would sense a bit of pushback from her, which I defined as her being careful because we weren’t yet married. Guess what, when we get married, I meet “the wall.” I would initially get angry and defensive.
During those first few years of marriage, my wife and I would go back and forth. She wasn’t yet able to articulate what was going on. The walls stayed up. All she knew was, “Do not hurt me.”
In the struggles, it’s easy to see that Satan enjoys taking our weaknesses, stir them up, and pop them back into our lives as often as he can. In the middle of a challenge, Satan would lie and say to my wife, “Oh, you don’t really love Alex, do you? Put that wall back up. It’s safer to guard your heart.”
Now, what does that do to marriage? It doesn’t make it closer, does it?
Here I am, a young, ignorant guy thinking I’m just going to fix all these things. Newsflash: I don’t know what I’m doing. So, I fall on my face and fall on my face and fall on my face again—trying to figure things out.
Now, who is the answer to things like this? Jesus is the answer. He is the only answer. John 4, the woman at the well, right? Jesus goes to the well in the middle of the day when women do not go to the well. She goes there alone, it’s dangerous, it’s hot, and she meets Jesus.
Jesus asked her for a drink of water and as they talk, He said, “I can give you living water…so you will never thirst again.” Jesus described her personal life. The woman realized she had been going to a well of people for her relational needs. How many times had she gone to the well of people to find a husband? 1? 2? 3? 4? 5? And the man she was currently living with was not even her husband?!
Can you imagine the level of hurt that woman had been through? Do you think she felt rejected? Do you think she felt unloved? Could she possibly feel loved by anybody? Jesus shared this living water with her and she learned the well of Jesus Christ is the only place she could truly get fulfilled.
She’s loved by God. The woman goes back to the town and says, “I want you to meet the man who told me everything.”
Listen, you and I, in marriage, if we go to the relational well to find all our needs…our acceptance, our identity, our security, our purpose…are we going to be fulfilled? No. Who can fulfill you? The One who made you. The well we must go to is the Lord. He’s the water where you’ll never thirst again.
In your marriage, your spouse can never totally fulfill you. Why? Because we must find our fulfillment from the One who made us—not the one who married us. Jesus is that well—your acceptance, your identity, your security, and your purpose—must come from Jesus. The wisest thing I can do is love my wife by pointing her to the Lord. The most loving thing you can do to help your wife is point her to the One who can truly satisfy—to the well that doesn’t run dry—where she’ll never thirst again. Do this, as a husband, because your kids need to see it.
This is the fifth part of an eight-part series. We believe fatherhood on earth comes from the Fatherhood of God. This series was created from a talk given at the 2022 Fatherhood CoMission Summit. May God bless your fatherhood.