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Raising the Righteous Standard of Fatherhood for the Glory of God Part VIII

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

"Father and Mother are apostles, bishops and priests to their children, for it is they who make them acquainted with the gospel." Martin Luther

So my quest of late has been what has God revealed to us in the book of Exodus regarding the high call of fathering one’s children. And the first thing I am noticing in the first 15 chapters or so is the importance of observing practices or rituals such as the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Passover meal as God instructed them in chapter 12 and then the Consecration of firstborn sons or males of animals in chapter 13. Both of these observances were to serve as reminders of what God has done for them in redeeming, preserving, and delivering them, etc.

The command, “You shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt’ in 13:8 is not specifically given to fathers, but knowing what we know from the book of Genesis as to the role of fathers in instructing their children in righteousness, we can deduct that fathers especially were to fulfill this command. These observances were to serve as a “sign” and “reminder” for parents, but I would say especially for fathers, because fathers so easily can get caught up in their work/job/career and in other less important things than fathering/instructing/reminding their children. We fathers need observances built in to our everyday life with the people of God so we cannot allow the pressures and responsibilities of life to overwhelm us and distract us from instructing and reminding our children of God’s great mercy in saving and delivering us. While a mother of course can play a role in these observances, the reality is when a father leads in these things, children will tend to give them more credence and value. Here’s how the verse reads, “And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt.” Exodus 13:9

Now clearly in this New Testament and New Covenant age, we no longer need to observe the Passover (as it was then), the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Consecration of the firstborn.

But our nature as fathers is the same as it was then, and our need for built in observances is the same. The need of our children to be reminded and not take for granted that the Father has “delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13) is also the same. One might say, ‘Well we have the Holy Spirit now.’ And praise God we do. But I would contend that built in observances in the church culture we are a part of are still important. And the most obvious one that we could practice regularly is of course communion or the Lord’s table. Ideally this would be observed by whole families regularly when the church family worships together as well as in small groups and as well in individual homes.

While our family has always been a part of worshipping communities that practice observing communion wherever we have lived, one of my regrets of my earlier years as a father is that we did not practice observing communion more in our home.

All we wandering sheep have a tendency to forget and take for granted what God has mercifully and graciously done for us in Christ. Fathers can play a crucial role in lessening the damaging effects of this tendency.

If you would like to give the observance of communion more attention in your family life and communal life with your church family, you might want to peruse these two posts below on Kingdomstreams.

God bless you fathers as you seek to regularly do your part to remind yourself and your children (and spouse) of what God has done for you all in Christ.

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