Fatherly Responsibilities

He pays attention to the way you and I conduct ourselves in our family.

Scripture: 1 Timothy 3:4, Ephesians 5:18


And hello, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright? Bless your heart. I hope everything’s alright at your house. If you’ve struck a rough day, look up and say, “Lord Jesus, see me through this one.” For He hath said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”

You know, I was just praying. I always pray that God will, will speak through me when I come to broadcast a message, and I was praying, I said, “Oh God, I don’t want to lose your blessing. I don’t want to be an old man that slips away from the blessing of God.” And, as I was praying that, just – like clear as a bell – there sounded in my mind those words from Hebrews, “For He hath said, ‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee, so that we may boldly say the Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.’” Hallelujah!

God talks back to you through His Word if you’ll put it in your mind so the Holy Spirit can bring it to your remembrance. Our Lord Jesus said, “He” (the Holy Spirit) “shall bring to your remembrance all things whatsoever I have said unto you.” Beloved, you can’t remember something unless you first forgot it. So, you have to put it in there first before God can bring it out. Get in the Word of God so He can talk to you through His Word by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Good idea?

Well, come with me to 1 Timothy, chapter 3. We’ve come now to verse 4. This is a listing, here in chapter 3, these beginning verses, a listing of the qualifications for a pastor or a… I’ve expanded it, in our lingo, to mean a full-time Christian worker. Someone that’s in Christian work full-time, that is ministering the Word of God; an evangelist, a missionary, a pastor, a bishop or whatever. The word “bishop” here in chapter 3 corresponds roughly with our word “pastor.”

So, now he says, in addition to these various qualifications that we’ve been looking at, it says, “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.” Then there’s a parenthetical statement, “(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” There’s the “devices” of the devil, the “snares” of the devil, the “condemnation” of the devil; he uses all different kinds of methods, doesn’t he?

Well, you want to think about this for a moment? “One that ruleth well.” Does that mean you say, “I will be boss”? I’ve got a little joke that I pull every now and again about this man who said, “I will be boss in my own house! I will not come out from under the bed!” You gonna pound the table and say, “I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be boss here, or know the reason why”? Well, you won’t be boss and you will know the reason why, I guess.

No, leadership has to be deserved. It can’t just be demanded. At the same time, a Christian family is one where Mother and Father and children all recognize the fact that Father is the spiritual head of the house. And he is responsible to God. My own father used to say to me… During my teenage years I would – just like any other teenager – give him a bad time now and again, when I wanted my own way, and he had to tell me, “No, you can’t do that.” And he would look at me and say, “My boy, it would be far easier for me to say ‘Yes’ to you and just let you have your own way, but I’m responsible to God for you, my boy.” And his blue eyes would fill up with tears. “I’m responsible to God for you, my boy.”

See, the father in the family is a person who is responsible to God for that family. You want to get that concept fixed firmly in your mind, beloved, because it makes all the difference in the world! Your, your job is not just to make sure that the children are clothed and fed, and given enough vitamins, and their, their regular health check-ups, and educated properly, and married off successfully, so that you can heave a sigh and say, “Well, that’s done.” That’s, that’s not the essence of your job. Of course all of those things are involved! But the, the real job description is that you are responsible to God for that family, for their spiritual as well as their physical and emotional and societal well-being. You follow that?

Now, this word, “ruleth well.” Greek verb “proistemi” means “to be over,” “to superintend,” “to preside over,” “to be a protector,” “to be a guardian,” “to give aid,” “to give attention to.” All of those meanings are wrapped up in that one verb. You want to think about that? Now, God has placed you over that family, in a position of responsibility. Anybody who’s ever worked in a corporation knows what it means to report to somebody. And that “someone” in turn reports to the next one, on up the line. You know about that, don’t you?

Well, let us say that you are in a lower position in the pecking order, and you have over you a, a department director or chairman or whatever the person is called, and let us say that in the, in the course of your work you make a mistake, and it’s a mistake that costs the corporation money, maybe some thousands of dollars. Well, now, you’re responsible for the mistake, but it turns out that the top brass holds your superintendant responsible for what you have done. And that superintendant will be called in and say, “Why didn’t you warn him? Why didn’t you counsel him? Why didn’t you watch him closely? Why didn’t you see to it that he didn’t make that stupid mistake that’s cost the corporation thousands of dollars?” Your superior is held responsible for your performance.

Well, as I say, anybody who’s ever worked in a corporation or a business knows that. Now, has it ever occurred to you, father, that you are held responsible to God for the performance of your family? Oh, you say, “Well I can’t help what those rotten kids do! I did my best to bring them up and, and, if they do these things I can’t help it!” Oh, I don’t believe that’s, I don’t believe that’s the, the point of view that God has. God holds you responsible.

Now, I go back in the Old Testament. It’s a hard concept and some of you are getting ready to be offended at me because you may have some private heartaches of your own with, with your own family. I know. But at the same time, look at God’s way of looking at it, will you? God says, “I know Abraham, that he will direct his family after Him.” I’m looking up the passage there. “I know Abraham, and I am going to reveal My covenant to him because he will direct his family properly.” “I know Abraham.” See? Why? God says there is something connected with the blessing of God in your, and in my, life before our family. Boy, that’s frightening, but it is also wonderful because God pays attention, beloved. He pays attention to the way you and I conduct ourselves in our family.

Oh, what do you do about it? The first thing you do is to give yourself absolutely to God and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God comes to dwell in your life the moment you’re saved. But Ephesians 5:18 says – a command now, not an option – “Be filled with the Spirit.” That means open every room in your heart-house, every area of your life by faith to the blessed Holy Spirit of God, and let Him fill you and control you, so that your life in your family will be an extension of God’s power and God’s purpose. Your family has a right, mister, to sense in you the presence of God. Oh, may that be true of me and of you in the days that lie ahead.

Yes, that verb “ruleth well” – “proistemi,” the Greek word – means “to be over,” “to be placed over,” “to preside over” the family, and you are responsible to God for that family. Some of you say, “What am I going to do? I’ve got a boy that won’t obey!”

There was a, there was a holiness preacher in other days, who, who’s schedule was full. He was preaching constantly and away from home. His wife wrote him a letter and said, “I don’t know what to do about our son. He’s rebellious, I can’t handle him, I don’t really know what to do about him. What would you suggest?” And when this evangelist, now with the Lord, when this evangelist got that letter, he immediately canceled all his preaching engagements for six months. Took the first train home, got home, said nothing to anybody, went upstairs into his own room, shut the door, and began to fast and pray. His son didn’t even know that his Dad was home. And that dear man stayed there in his room, fasting and praying for days on end. And then, one day, there was a knock at the door of that bedroom, and outside was the boy who had suddenly, somehow, come under great conviction of sin. And he said, “Oh, I wish that Dad were here so he could pray with me.” And his mother said, “He’s been here for several days, praying for you.” So the boy rushed upstairs, knocked on the door, got down on his knees with his father, and sought the Lord, and got right with God.

Oh, all I can tell you is God will hear the prayer. He may not answer it every given Thursday or, or in the moment that you pray it, but God will hear your prayer. I oftentimes plead this promise, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house!” God says that He will care for my family in His abundant grace if I trust Him.

The father of Paul and Luke and Lyle Rader lay dying, and some thoughtless neighbor said, “Mr. Rader, doesn’t it bother you that you’re dying and none of your family is saved?” And he looked up and he said, “Oh no, I’m trusting the Word of God, and He said, ‘…and thy house,’ and I know that God is going to save them.” Well, they tell me that it was less than a year after the old man was buried that Paul Rader was saved, and Luke and Lyle. Paul Rader became a great, worldwide evangelist, as you know, bringing many thousands of people to God, and Luke and Lyle as well were used of God in their own ministries. Yes, God keeps His Word. God answers prayer. You got a rebellious son, a wayward daughter? Get on your knees and seek God.

A father came to me one time. He said, “What am I gonna do about my boy?” I said, “Has he ever heard you praying for him?” “Well,” he said, “I don’t know.” I said, “Why don’t you get up at five tomorrow morning and start, just start praying for your boy?” It wasn’t long, beloved, before that boy turned around as well. I’ve seen it happen, I know that God answers prayer.

I’ll get back to this the next time we get together, alright?

Dear Father today, may we be responsible to Thee and the conveyors of God’s presence and power. In Jesus’ name, I pray it, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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