Kenneth W. Hagin
I was fortunate to grow up in the home of Kenneth E. Hagin. He was my natural father and a spiritual father to many. Although my dad is now in Heaven, his example of faith still lives with me today. I can recall the victories he obtained through his faith in God. My father’s faith endured many tests and trials and got us all through many rough times.
My dad was a fine example of a godly father. Abraham of the Old Testament is another example of a godly father. In Romans 4:16 (NLT ) Abraham is called “the father of all who believe.” Throughout history, he has affectionately been called “Father Abraham.”
The way Abraham endured to receive the promise of God has helped many believers to stand firm on God’s Word as they go through difficult times. Abraham’s life is also an example to all of us who are fathers.
He shows us how to leave a godly heritage for our children. The following acrostic of the word “father” reveals some of the many lessons Abraham gave us.
F stands for faith. Abraham was a man of faith.
When God told Abraham in Genesis 12 to leave his country and go to a land that God would show him, Abraham obeyed the Word of the Lord, even though he did not know where he was going.
Every time a father obeys God, he leaves an example for his children to follow. I watched my dad obediently follow the call of God on his life. As a result, I learned how to use my faith to follow God’s plan for my life.
A stands for available. Abraham was available to his family.
According to Genesis 21:8 (TLB), after Isaac was weaned, “. . . Abraham gave a party to celebrate the happy occasion.”
One of the most important things a father can do for his children is to spend time with them. I understand that a father has a responsibility as head of the household to provide for his family. But spending quality time with our children will mean more to them than any amount of money.
T stands for tested. Abraham taught his son how to pass the tests of life.
Genesis 22 records how God tested Abraham’s faith and obedience by requiring him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham used his faith in God to get through this test. And children need to see from our example that obeying God is the most important thing they can do in life.
H stands for help. Abraham helped his son find a godly wife (Gen. 24).
As fathers, we must teach our children how to make wise decisions. To do this, we cannot make every decision for our children, but we must train them in such a way that they will learn how to make right choices on their own. If they learn how to make good decisions when they are young, then they will continue making right decisions when they are older.
E stands for encouragement. Abraham encouraged his son to believe God.
When Abraham and Isaac were climbing Mount Moriah to offer a sacrifice to God, Isaac asked his father, “. . . but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?”(Gen. 22:7 TLB). Isaac had his doubts, but Abraham quickly encouraged his son to believe God by replying, “God will see to it, my son” (v.8 TLB).
Abraham and Isaac worked together to offer a sacrifice to God. Isaac carried the wood and Abraham carried the knife and fire. Unfortunately, we fathers often tell our children what to do, but we don’t do it with them. If we tell our children to go to church and serve God, then we ought to go to church and serve God with them.
R stands for responsibility. Abraham was responsible to take care of his family.
Abraham raised his children in the reverence of God. Fathers, you have the responsibility to lead your family in the things of God. Your children need to see you praying and reading your Bible.
General Douglas MacArthur felt this same way. He once said, “By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder—infinitely prouder—to be a father. . . . It is my hope that my son . . . will remember me not from the battlefield but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer.” 1
Fathers, it is our responsibility to show our children how to be responsible with their money, work, and fellow man. But above all, we need to teach them how to be responsible and true to our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.