As a father, you are to be a strong protector of your family. We see families falling apart when fathers don’t step in and protect their wives, their children, and their families. Psalm 91 says, “For he will give his angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways.”
God created fathers to have a strong desire to protect what is priceless. You were created to have a strong desire to protect what is priceless to you. How are you serving as the line of protection God calls you to be for your family? Let’s look at what it takes to live out the biblical trait of protector—protecting our families so we raise godly children.
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me,” and he got up and followed him. While he was reclining at the table in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came to eat with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Now when he heard this, he said, “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.” —Matthew 9:9-13
Biblical Trait #2: Protector
I am protective of my family. I’m protective of my daughters. We were arguing one night as they got into their teenage years. For whatever reason, they like to challenge things in those teenage years. They were arguing with me, so I told them this story of why we’re keeping the boundaries we’ve set up in their lives.
I’ll tell you the story I told my kids. Maybe you can repeat it to your kids.
The story goes…
In England, there are all these cliffs. There are areas on top of the cliffs where houses are built. This makes for beautiful views from the house. It’s a beautiful place to live if you’re aware of NOT GETTING TOO CLOSE TO THE CLIFF. You can drop many, many feet under the rocks or the beaches.
Once upon a time, there was a house given to a young husband and his new wife by his father. The father bought the house for the young husband as a gift. It wasn’t a big house. But the boy’s father wanted them to live there with the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.
So, this young husband and wife are living on this property. A fence goes to the flat part of the backyard, and before it starts to slope down to the cliff, the fence stops. After a few years, the young couple has two twin boys.
As the twins grow, the father thinks, “There’s more land here, why is the backyard so small? The area within the fence is so small…” He talks to the boys now five years old saying, “Hey, let’s extend the backyard.” He moves the end of the fence halfway down the slope, reasoning they can gain a little more room to play, the dog can run around more, and still have plenty of room before the cliff. They live this way for a few years.
The sons, now getting to be 11 years old say, “Dad, you know, if we could push the fence a little bit further, we could have even more land.” The wife’s like, “Honey, I don’t know that you should move the fence closer to the cliff.” Dad meets with the sons and says, “You’re never to touch the fence.” The sons say, “Of course, we know that.” So, when they’re about 12 years old, dad moves to the fence to a few feet before the cliff.
The grandfather who gave the dad the house doesn’t know about these incremental changes over the years. One day, while the dad’s at work, the father and two boys now about 12 get into an argument in the backyard. It’s Summer and the boys are arguing about who’s faster.
Mom’s in the kitchen preparing dinner. The boys say, “Okay, we’re going to find out who’s faster. Put your hand on the wall at the same time…we’re going to bolt for the fence whoever gets to the fence first wins.”
They start running.
The mom sees what’s going on and bolts for the door to make them stop. But they’re going full speed, especially when they start going down the slope. Neither boy wants to stop before reaching the wooden fence. Both hit the fence at the same time. The top post breaks and they both go over and off the Cliff to their death. Both sons die.
Mom freaks out. The husband is called home, but it’s too late. By the time the grandfather gets there, he says, “Why did you move the fence? The young father says, “I didn’t intend for this to happen.”
Well, of course, the dad didn’t intend for it to happen. After telling my kids the story I said, “So, kids, where would you have put the fence? Not next to the Cliff? Where?
My son says, “I would have put it maybe one-third down the slope. The yard’s a little bit bigger, but you still have tons of space.” One of my daughters says, “No, you should have just kept it up on the flat part, not next to the cliff.”
There must be a fence.
Here’s my point: I told them there must be a fence. I said, “When I set up boundaries for you as kids, you can move it up a little—you can move it down a little—we can argue about it. But the point is, respect the fact that there are standards—boundaries—and there’s a fence there because I love you.”
Raising godly children: one example in my home
Entertainment choices seem to come up often in my home. What my kids can watch and what they shouldn’t. And as the dad, I must protect my children. I want to be a provider and protector, so I said recently, “Kids, I want to walk with the Lord, and I want His blessing on this home. We’re not watching entertainment that profanes His name in this house.”
The Lord convicted me of this years ago. It’s as if God said, “Alex, you don’t profane my name…but you’ll allow entertainment in your house that profanes My name?” Now, I don’t want to be seen by my kids as legalistic or too hard on them, but if I’m paying for entertainment and allowing God’s name to be profaned, am I responsible?” The answer is yes!
So, I set up rules in my home—moral rules, language rules, out of love. Why? Because I want God’s blessing and I want to teach my kids about standards and boundaries. We must respect where the fence is placed.
Scripture says, “Don’t move an ancient boundary marker that your ancestors set up” (Prov. 22:28). As a dad, you are showing your kids every single day, by your desire to protect them, just how much you love them—whether they realize it or not.
God created you to have a strong desire to protect what is priceless to you—your family—your children. As you protect your family, you are offering up a picture of God and His protection. Lord, help us as a dad to protect our families. Help us not move the boundaries from one generation to the next.
Find all posts from the series:
7 Biblical Traits for Raising Godly Children
- Biblical Trait 1: Provider
- Biblical Trait 2: Protector
- Biblical Trait 3: Leader
- Biblical Trait 4: Teacher
- Biblical Trait 5: Helper
- Biblical Trait 6: Encourager
- Biblical Trait 7: Friend
This is the second part of an eight-part series. We believe fatherhood on earth comes from the Fatherhood of God. Think about it: God didn’t look down on something He created and say, “Hey, I think I like that. I think I’m going to call myself, ‘Father.’” No, from the very beginning, He—as the perfect Father—created fatherhood on earth as an introduction to who He is. This series was created from a talk given at the 2022 Fatherhood CoMission Summit. May God bless your fatherhood.