The Lord’s Prayer
In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
When the Disciples of Christ asked Him to teach them how to pray, Jesus revealed a snapshot of how heaven operates. In the Lord’s Prayer we see a blueprint of the way our heavenly Father runs His family. We can learn important principles for a successful family through what was revealed in this prayer. God is our Heavenly Father and we are His family, how He deals with us as His children gives us insights into how we as fathers should interact with our own family.
“Our Father in Heaven”
When Jesus spoke these words, He revealed one of the most profound secrets of eternity, showing that God Himself loves us as a Father. Accepting Him as our Father by receiving Christ as our saviour opens all the benefits of heaven to each human being. It also entails looking up to Him as your leader and Lord. Every family needs to have a leader, not a dictator or a tyrant, but someone who leads through servant hood and by example. God has given the role of leader to the husband/father in family life.
“Hallowed be your name”
We as Christians are to honour and respect God’s Name, as He is our Lord and Creator and deserves all our thanks for His mercy in our lives. In a similar way the role of ‘father’ in each family should be honoured and respected for their ‘positions’ sake. When we honour our own father in life we honour the fact that God gave him that position and in turn we honour God.
“Your kingdom come”
God’s Kingdom is His overall goal for creation, His plan and purpose that has been revealed throughout the bible and will be fulfilled at Christ’s return. The father in each family should set the direction of that family, its goals and purposes (This should be done in discussion/agreement with his wife) and may also include the spiritual and relational environment within the home. Ultimately the responsibility for the family’s success or failure will fall upon the father, so this should not be undertaken without due consideration.
“Your will be done”
Submitting to our Heavenly Father’s will is a major key in our Christian walk, only through submission can we find the freedom we long for, to live for and with God. In a similar way, the will of the father in each home needs to be accepted whether it is agreed with. There is no authority without responsibility, and because the father ‘shoulders’ the responsibility he also has the God given authority.
This is conditional upon the father submitting to God’s will as revealed in the scriptures of the Bible. If a father is abusive or violent then he is no longer acting in the ‘role’ of father, and therefore does not deserve to be submitted to. When a father refuses to take the responsibility of fatherhood he abdicates his authority in the family also.
“On earth as it is in Heaven”
(Here is the key!) How God does it, is how we should do it as fathers!
Jesus clearly stated the principle, we as fathers are to run our families as closely as possible to how God runs His family. We are to learn from our own heavenly relationship with God and bring the wisdom and grace from it into our own family. As God deals with us as our loving Father so are we to deal with our children.
Sometimes God disciplines us, sometimes He encourages us, sometimes He allows us to learn from our mistakes, but always He loves us unconditionally and has our very best in mind. The scriptures in the Bible reveal the nature and purpose of God for you and your children, reading it daily can help us grow more like Him in our role as a father.
"Give us this day our daily bread"
One of the major roles of a father is to be the “bread winner” for the family, the provider for the household. It is his task to work and bring in enough income to enable all the families’ needs to be met. This role is to be accepted in partnership with God Himself as your provider. As our heavenly Father provides for you, you can then provide for your family. Even those fathers who are unable to “work” for legitimate reasons (such as illness or injury etc) can play a major role in providing for their family through believing prayer to God.
"Forgive us our debts(sins) as we forgive our debtors"
Being the ‘peacemaker’ in the home is a time-consuming process initially, until the foundation principles are established in the ‘life’ of the family. The father needs to define the ‘boundaries’ in family life and bring the whole family into agreement with them. Explaining clearly how ‘we’ do life in this family is vital for agreement to come. Treating each other with respect and forgiving each other quickly goes a long way toward having peace in the home.
The father should lead by example by asking for forgiveness quickly when he makes a mistake. This is a sign of spiritual strength and ‘proves’ that you mean what you say and are willing to ‘walk the talk’. Teaching your children about the giving and receiving of forgiveness is a huge step toward successful family life.
"Do not lead us into temptation"
King David started off in life as a shepherd, taking care of his fathers’ flock of sheep. He learned to lead them from place to place where the grazing was good, and to move on at the right time when the grass was becoming scarce. He also knew where all the local water holes were, and the safest path to travel there. In Psalm 23 we see that David had a revelation that God was also present in ‘his’ life shepherding him. Leading him in the way he should go, guiding his footsteps and helping him choose the right path in life. We as fathers need to be aware of our children’s decisions and assist them with gentle wisdom and guidance to help them make the ‘right’ choices in life.
"Deliver us from the evil one"
Part of King David’s role as a shepherd was protecting his sheep from danger, whether it was along dangerous paths or the attack of mountain lions. David developed skills with stones and a sling, so he could effectively protect his flock. We as fathers can also develop skills such as awareness and discernment that will assist us in our role as protector in the family. There is no doubt that we live in a world where evil is present, and the precious lives of your children are worth protecting at all costs.
Being aware of who your children ‘hang out’ with, and where they go is a start to being able to protect them from evil. Not allowing computers in bedrooms is a wise step toward protecting them from the dangers of the internet. Making sure that they are safe each day to the best of your ability is how a father can deliver his children from the evil one.
"Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever"
Maintaining the family focus toward Christ continually will keep it from going off track. This should include if possible regular church attendance, daily bible study and family prayer times. Praying each night for your children as they go to bed sets a good pattern for later life and assists them in experiencing the ‘reality’ of God’s love in their lives. In a thousand years’ time your children will still be thanking you for helping them know God and entering His eternal kingdom. Christian parenting is parenting with God's help and the wisdom He provides in the bible verses.
The word 'Amen' means So be it!
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