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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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How To Be A Good Father?

Text: Ephesians 6:4 “Ephesians 6:4 – “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”


Many sermons on Father’s Day deal with “What Is A Good Father?”. This is good to preach, but today, I want to go a little further. I want to deal with “How To Be A Good Father”. It’s not enough just to know the characteristics of a good father … we need to see what we need to do to BE a good father.


Your children watch how you treat their mother. They WATCH … and they are LEARNING and FORMING their concept of marriage from YOU. You are creating a PATTERN, a BLUEPRINT for marriage with your children.
A. If they see you show disrespect for your wife … your son will carry that into his marriage.
B. If you verbally or mentally or physically abuse your wife … your daughter will expect that in her marriage.
C. If you treat their mother like she isn’t worth very much … you are degrading the home, the family, and marriage … which they will carry into their future homes, families & marriages.

A. If they visibly see you show love and respect to their mother … your son will learn how to be a good husband and father himself.
B. If you honor your wife … your daughter will never be satisfied with a man who dishonors her.

Ephesians 5:28 – “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”


Just like there are no perfect fathers … there are no perfect children … AMEN?
A. Fathers, don’t EXPECT your children to be perfect.
B. Don’t expect them to meet all of your expectations.
C. Don’t expect them to fulfill all of your goals for them.
D. Don’t expect them to be what you want them to be.
E. Too many fathers try to live out their own lives through their children.
F. They want their sons to be the football stars that they could never be.
G. They want their daughters to marry into money & success that they never achieved.
H. Every child is different … they are not a clone of you (Thank God!).
I. It’s natural for a child to make mistakes … spill their milk … accidentally break things … do poorly on a test … & get angry.
J. Instead of constantly criticizing their imperfections, acknowledge their imperfections … and love them.
K. They aren’t perfect … they will never be perfect … don’t expect them to be perfect.

Col. 3:21 – “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”


Psalm 127:3 – “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
A. Children are given to us to ENJOY … not to be a burden … not to avoid … not to ignore … BUT TO ENJOY!
B. In order to ENJOY them, you’ve got to be with them … have fun with them … share your life with them.
C. Enjoy being a father … and make sure that they enjoy having you as their father.
D. Spend some time on the floor with them, giving them horsy rides … take them to fun places, doing fun things … laugh … play … give them some memories of Dad being FUN to be around.


A. Give them your undivided attention … not with one eye on the TV and the other eye on them.
B. When they have a problem … when they are worried … when they are sad … when they are lonely … they don’t need cartoons, or a video game, or their best friends Dad … they need YOU!
C. Get involved with your children, and know what’s going on in their everyday life.
D. Listen to them … even when they‘re not saying anything, they are speaking.
E. Be the kind of father that they can come to and say anything that’s on their mind … without being criticized for it.
F. If you listen to them when they’re small and their problems are small. They come to you when they’re bigger, and their problems are bigger.

Proverbs 1:5 – “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning;…”


1 Tim. 5:8 – “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

A. Even the LOST provide for their families.
B. You can’t be a GOOD FATHER and not provide for your children.
C. I don’t mean that you have to give them everything they want … that’s one of the WORST things you can do.
D. We are living in a generation of children whose parents have robbed their children of the blessing of WANTING, WORKING & WAITING for material things.
E. We have spoiled our children by giving them INSTANT SATISFACTION … and they will carry on this tradition by charging whatever they want and accumulating enormous credit card debt.
F. Too many fathers think they can BUY OFF their children with THINGS … and thus relieve themselves of the guilt for not being the kind of father they ought to be … that they can BUY their way out of Biblical fatherhood.


Ephesians 6:4 – “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
A. We must teach and train our children to respect authority in the home … or they won’t respect authority at school or in the world.
B. We need to teach our children that there are BOUNDARIES … rules & regulations.
C. Your children are going to test you.
D. They are going to see how much they can get away with.
E. They are going to see if you mean what you say … if you’re going to take a stand, or if it’s just an idle threat.


1 Chron. 16:11 – “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.”

A. You don’t have all the answers to their questions …
B. You can’t solve all their problems.
C. You don’t have all the wisdom, love and patience to be the father you ought to be.
D. Without God’s help, you can never be the father God wants you to be.
E. You need help! You can’t do it by yourself …


Psalm 55:17 – “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”

A. You can’t be with your children all the time … God can.
B. You can’t protect them wherever they go … God can.
C. You can teach them right from wrong, but you can’t be there when it’s put to the test … God can.
D. Pray for your children! Lift them up to God to do for them what you can’t do.


Proverbs 22:6 - “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

A. You are a role model for your children … like it or not … good or bad … they will, to one degree or another, model their lives after you.
B. You have inherited some of your father’s characteristics … your children are inheriting some of yours.
C. Whether you know it or not you are influencing the lives of your children, and your children’s children.
D. You ARE a role model … a good father will be a GOOD role model.


Proverbs 23:24 - “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.”

A. You are preparing your children to leave home.
B. Some day, they’ll take what they’ve learned from you, and begin to apply it out in the real world.
C. You’ve only got approximately 18 years to get them ready.
D. Preparing them for life away from you is only part of the picture.
E. If you haven’t spent your time preparing them for eternity, you have failed as a father.
F. You can’t choose which eternal path they will take … but you CAN choose to show them the way to Heaven … OR … you can choose to just ignore their spiritual destiny.
G. They have to decide for themselves the path they’ll take … but you can have a Godly influence on their choice.


It’s not easy being a good father … AMEN? BUT … it’s NOT IMPOSSIBLE, either. It takes hard work, hard praying, and making hard decisions. You can’t do it alone. God doesn’t expect you to. God doesn’t want you to. Don’t leave Him out of your adventure in fatherhood.

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First Baptist Church of Barberville 137 East Broad St. PO Box 97, Barberville, FL 32112 * 386-749-3928