The Righteous Father

“A righteous man who walks in his integrity –

How blessed are his sons after him.”

(Proverbs 20:7)

     I was not one of those who grew up with a Christian father.  I remember being envious of my friends who had dads that were church leaders and great spiritual examples.  I wondered if my friends truly appreciated how blessed they were to have dads like that.

     The “righteous man” in Proverbs describes one who does what is right according to God’s divine standards.  In other words, he knows the Bible and he follows it.  Solomon also says that he is a man of “integrity.”  This describes one who is genuine and sincere.  He is not a hypocrite.  His devotion to God is real, not contrived.  The fact that he “walks” this way shows that it describes his daily life.  This is who he is – day in and day out. This verse provides two important lessons: one for dads and one for children.

     Dads set the tone for spiritual direction of the family.  Their choices will impact the family for generations to come – either for good or ill (cf. Ex. 20:5-6; Prov. 13:22; 14:26).  As a result it is imperative that dads, like the one described in this verse, be righteous.  This is how they best set the spiritual direction of the family – by their personal devotion to God.  They are seen reading their Bibles.  They are seen practicing what the Bible teaches.  Their children see them putting God’s kingdom first (Matthew 6:33).  It is clear to all observers how important the church is to these dads.  They are involved.  They clearly love the church.  If you are a dad, does this describe you?  It should!  It must!  If you will someday be a dad, this verse should provide incentive to the kind of dad you should be someday.

     Children are blessed to have righteous dads.  In the second line of this proverb, Solomon notes that the children are “blessed.”  This word describes the happiness they feel at their good fortune.  They did nothing to have a dad like the one they got.  Yet, here he is!  They don’t have to worry about dad embarrassing them through drunkenness or infidelity.  They are not concerned about him making selfish decisions that will negatively impact their future. They are the beneficiaries of a God-fearing life.  They get to see how he handles difficulties and how his faith in God gets him through.  Do you have such a father?  Solomon says, “you’re blessed.”  

     I may not have had a righteous dad, but that doesn’t mean I can’t become one.  I want my children to feel they are blessed to have a dad like me.