Terry R. Baughman
“I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.… I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning…” (1 John 2:13–14).
As one generation passes off the scene, another rises up to take their place. Children grow to maturity. Young couples become families and middle aged parents become elders. With the passing of the oldest members of the family the next generation is forced to step into the forefront of seniority.
The cycle of life has had God’s promise of continuance ever since the destruction of the antediluvian world, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). God set a rainbow in the clouds as a reminder of His promise and said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations” (Genesis 9:12).
God’s plan and promises never cease. He is the one eternal God and His bond is His word. He does not depend on the frailty of humanity to guarantee His covenant or to uphold His commitments. The writer of the Book of Hebrews stated, “For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself” (Hebrews 6:13).
Our assurance of God’s perpetual promises is based on the immutability of His character and the consistent evidence of His eternal existence. There is steadfast confidence in our elders as they rely on their knowledge of the One “who is from the beginning.” Those who know God recognize their dependence on Him. He is the only One “from the beginning,”the sole guarantor of His everlasting word.
Fathers who seek God will find Him to be a source of strength as they provide leadership for their families. As much as fathers wish to be trustworthy, dependable, and honest in their leadership, they will sometimes fall short of their aspirations. Fathers who learn to lean on God will find they will be more consistent as they understand the true source of faithfulness is their trust in God, the One who is greater, stronger, older, and wiser than us all.
Fathers who respect God will earn respect of those they lead. Authority comes to those who learn submission. Submission produces humility. As we begin to humbly submit to our authorities others will find they are able to trust us with their submission. Paul pointed to the submission of Christ as our example, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us”(Ephesians 5:1–2). He continued with instructions to the family order, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.’ And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1–4).
Fathers who love God are worthy of special honor today and always.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).