If you watched Philippine movies from the 60’s and 70’s, Ptr. Joby might look familiar to you. That’s because he bears a resemblance to his actor father, the late Nestor de Villa. If you read the Bible a lot, you might also find the resemblance between Ptr. Joby’s demeanor to that of his Heavenly Father.
Ptr. Joby was a corporate executive turned businessman turned pastor for Christ’s Commission Fellowship Alabang. He and his beautiful wife, Cindy Soriano, are parents of three young adult kids.
Ptr. Joby and Cindy have both been featured in the ff. previous posts:
Cindy Soriano: Message for My Younger Self
This month of Father’s Day, Ptr. Joby shares this wisdom-filled message for Dads:
The verse above implies that our children really belong to the Lord and He has entrusted them to us to nurture and care for them for a time. And so fathers must give their children the gift of T-I-M-E. Godly fathers don’t find time for their kids. They make time! It’s an investment with returns that are beyond this world.
The most common image that Jesus used in describing God was that of “Father.”
Let’s see what we can learn about being a father by looking at the original standard of God Himself.
1. T: Teach and Train our children about Jesus.
Arrows are sticks rugged and knotted that must be crafted until they become smooth and purposeful, requiring time. Our children are just like arrows. Each of them has a determined purpose. Don’t force them to be what they are not gifted in. This requires sensitivity, kindness, diligence, and patience. If we are not spiritual leaders in our homes taking time to teach and train our children, then we are neglecting a very important responsibility that God has given to us.
Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and the instruction of the Lord.”
Our children should be our Number One disciples. God gave us His Word as our main source of guidance and instruction. The Bible is what we use to teach and train our children with. What a privilege it is for us to share the Words of life and truth to our own flesh and blood.
2. I: I Love You
God spoke His love for us in His Word.
He showed us His love on the cross.
He wrote His love for us by His blood.
He poured His loved for us through forgiveness.
It is one thing to tell our children that we love them and another to show it in our daily life with them. It’s important for us to communicate the love of God in action. We should delight in our children; all of them, and never play favorites. Treat them equally and express love through forgiveness and acceptance. (John 15:12)
3. M: Model
The model of fatherhood is God. God is not just “LIKE a father”; He IS the Father who is: Faithful, True, Just, Merciful, Compassionate, Slow to Anger, Loving, Affectionate, Providing, Patient, Kind, etc.
Being a father means being a godly model to your wife and children.
We need to direct our children in the right path just like arrows need to be pointed in the right target. We do this by leading them toward God, showing how we depend on God in prayer and in making all our decisions. Our lives model the path they will follow. (John 13:15)
4. E: Encourage your children
God our Father encourages us as His children throughout Scripture. Many times fathers are quick to criticize the children’s failures, and are so slow to praise and encourage them when they do something right. (Heb 3:13)
A lot of times, parents don’t want to release their children into the world. Arrows left in the quiver or unreleased from the family often become arrows to the heart, bringing grief to their parents.
Some parents don’t want to let go of their children. They will never be of any use or fulfill their God given purpose if we withhold them from the world. We need to do all we can before the day that they finally are shot from the bow. We need to trust and depend on God’s power as we give Him back the child that really belonged to Him. After we release them we should pray for them, be available to them and just watch the results.
Once the arrow leaves the bow, it’s too late to change its course. The archer has finally given back that which belongs to God. Fathers are responsible as stewards to teach, love, model and encourage the arrows in their lives.