Fathers are part of the local church. Being in the church is being in the covenant family. When Paul urged the covenanted church to be in unity, he contended that fathers ought to “bring them [their children] up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).
Father have the calling—not only to model godly love—but to nurture his child/children according to God’s word. This calling is their first and foremost duty as godly fathers. No other legacy that a father can ultimately give than God’s love.
But the problem is human fathers are sinners just like the rest of humanity (Rom. 3:10, 23). They cannot grasp nor attain to fulfill the calling of fatherhood. Hence, the pervading epidemic of fatherlessness in several nations.
To this fallenness of human fathers, they cannot conform to the calling of teaching and impressing the true faith and God’s words to their children (Deut. 6:4-9; Prov. 22:6). Indeed, human fathers are imperfect, flawed, and have many shortcomings.
But there is a good news. There is someone who can mediate human fathers towards the heavenly Father. This person is no other than Jesus Christ. Christ paved the way for human fathers; they can see the light of their supreme calling of God’s design of fatherhood (Jn. 14:5-11). This time it is only in Christ that they can reflect a godly character of a father’s love.
Furthermore, this kind of love of a human father reflects the kind of love of God the Father (Heb 12:7-10). It endures. It is unconditional. It marries discipline according to the Scripture. How then can a father exemplify God’s way of righteous loving and living? John Revell noted, in 1997:
When a father controls his tongue and temper, his child can better grasp the truth of God's patience. When a father keeps his promises, even the small ones, his child can better grasp God's faithfulness. When a father moderates his response to disobedience, his child can better grasp God's mercy. When a father chooses not to remind a repentant child of past moral failures, his child can better grasp God's forgiveness. When a father loves fully, regardless of his child's performance, his child can better grasp God's, unconditional love.
Indeed, the supreme calling of Fatherhood is to reflect and exemplify the ultimate Father—our Creator, God. Take time to reflect. But this spiritual reality is only possible in one way; it is only through Christ that a human father can truly reflect the heavenly Father (Jn 14:6).
Our heavenly Father, we pray for our human fathers.