A Theological Perspective on Fatherhood

by Joe Bartemus | Jun 12, 2018 | Articles

I remember when I first heard that I would be a father. I was in shock, then awe, then panic. And I have had a full range of these emotions for many years after that event. In many good ways, my life has never been the same.

I have found that fatherhood has a deep basis in biblical theology. For that reason, and in celebration of Father’s Day, here are three threads of fatherhood in the Bible that can encourage and motivate you today:

1. The Fatherhood of God

I am more convinced than ever that the wonderful things on earth have their basis in the glorious realities of God. The fatherhood of God existed long before Adam became a father. Isaiah 63:16, and other Old Testament passages, affirm the Fatherhood of God. He is not trying to be like a human father because He is the first Father. That is why human fathering should reflect the divine Father. Notice:

  • He is the head, sovereign as the Father who is enthroned in heaven (Matt. 6:9). He can care for His children as the King and all-powerful Father.
  • He is the Lover of our souls who sent His Son Jesus to provide for His adopted children (John 3:16). This is a great comfort because even if you had a poor earthly Father, you can receive love from the heavenly Father, the true Father of love! You are loved if you are His.

2. Father Abraham had many sons

Do you remember the song, “Father Abraham had many sons?” It could drag on for a long time, but that length has a biblical precedent. Galatians 3:29 says, “If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” As God’s children, we are in a long line of God’s offspring. We have a heritage that goes back to Abraham and before. That is important because:

  • God uses people to bring others into His family—like Abraham and us. As John 1:12 says, “as many as received him, he gave authority to become sons of God.” We should be diligent to share the good news and “father” others into the kingdom.
  • We are part of a big family of redeemed people. Because of that, we can eagerly anticipate the fulfillment that will come when we one day join the throngs to see the Father on His throne, for all of eternity (Rev. 3:21).

3. Earthly fathers

I am grateful for my dad. He was not perfect (and I am not either), but he loved his family. As a result of his fatherhood, I have been blessed to be a father and a grandfather. These roles come with a responsibility, though. I am very aware that my main mission as a dad and granddad is to pass on the heritage of Christian faith.

Dads of the faith, let’s commit together to striving hard to model, teach, and lead our families so they may know God as the True Father. Even those who are not fathers can apply these truths by living to the glory of the Father in all of life. As parents, as professionals, as people of God, let us live a life that says: To God alone be the glory!