Summary: Father should demonstrate qualities that deserve honor.
QUALITIES OF AN HONORABLE FATHER
“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
When Joshua uttered this famous verse, he was challenging the tribes of Israel to make up their mind when it comes to serving the Lord. He told them to fear God and serve Him with all faithfulness.
On the other hand, it also shows what kind of person Joshua was as a family man – as a father to be specific. He possessed those qualities that deserve to be honored on occasion like today – Father’s Day.
The statement “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” implies the qualities of honorable father.
1. It implies a Strong Conviction.
The statement begins with the term “but” indicating contrast. The tribes of Israel need to be reminded of their duties to God because they have been “double-minded” people. They worship God at one time then worship idols in another time.
He challenged them to make up their mind and decide whom they are going to serve and worship – the God of their forefathers or the gods of the Amorites. They were unable to be decisive because they don’t have clear conviction about God.
Joshua however distinguished himself from the Israelites because he knows where he stands and is ready to make a decision. He is not afraid to go against the will of the majority since he has a clear belief on the issues of the day. This is a critical factor not only in leading a nation but also in leading his family.
Today we honor those fathers who know where they stand and are ready to make a decision when it comes to their family. We honor those fathers who are not afraid to go against the will of the majority. We honor those fathers who have a clear belief on the family issues of the day.
Why is a clear conviction an essential quality of a father? As a head of the family, our family looks up to us for wisdom and guidance. They would like to know what we believe about God, family, parenting, personal discipline, responsibility, service, citizenship, and spirituality.
ILLUSTRATION Austin L Sorensen, “A Child is not likely to find a father in God unless he finds something of God in his father.
A father without clear convictions in life will be like “a wave of the sea blown and tossed by the wind.” He is unstable and lacks consistency in what he plans and does. As a result, our family is confuse and frustrated because they don’t know where they stand and whom to follow.
Fathers understand and define your convictions in the issues of life. Communicate them to your family – wife and children. Let them know that you stand for what you believe. Our family will continue to be proud of you for having a father with convictions. Family values and traditions come from the clear convictions of parents – particularly the father.
How do we develop convictions? Educate yourself. Listen to advises and evaluate them. Learn from others and your own mistakes. Examine and embrace the teachings of Christ in his Word. Trust God and his words.
2. It implies a Positive Influence.
I don’t know how big the family of Joshua was. But it is encouraging to hear him commit his household to serve the Lord. He had the confidence that his household will follow his desire to serve the Lord. How can he make that kind of commitment?
The phrase “but as for me and my household…” implies a positive influence by Joshua over his household. Here is a father who can influence his household to significant and legitimate decisions in life.
Today, we honor those fathers who have a positive influence in the life of their families – especially in terms of our faith in God, concern for families and society, and living a moral and ethical lifestyle.
Israel served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the LORD had done for Israel. (Joshua 24:31)
The influence of Joshua to his family and nation outlived him. How can he have such kind of influence to his family and nation? Or how can we have such kind of influence?
a. Positive influence happens when conviction is followed by demonstration – our beliefs were supported by our behavior. Our children believe our convictions when they see our example. The father example is very influential.
ILLUSTRATION If both father and mother go to church, 72% of the children will also go to church when they grow up. If only the father goes to church, the percentage drops to 55%. However, if only the mother goes to church, only 15% of those children will go to church when they are grown.