Inspiring Men: The Four Key Traits of an Effective Father of Faith.


Guest post written by Roger Patterson, author of A Minute of Vision for Men

I want to unpack a biblical “Father of Faith.” His name is Jairus, and he was an influential man. He was a ruler of the synagogue and a religious leader. He was successful and prominent. But, like you and me, Jairus found himself in a situation beyond his control. It was in that crisis that his faith became evident.

You see, his twelve-year-old daughter was dying, and he couldn’t do anything to stop it. The first thing we need to recognize about this Father of Faith is that he was desperate.

A father holds his baby tightly and kisses their cheek as they both look towards something in the distance to the right hand side of the photo. Effective father of faith are desperate for Jesus.

1. Effective Fathers of Faith Demonstrate Their Desperation for Jesus.

Mark 5:22 states, Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing [Jesus], he fell at his feet . . .”

Jairus humbled himself before Jesus and desperately demonstrated that he couldn’t fix this situation on his own. He was no longer in control. He was desperate for that which he believed Jesus could do.

Dad, do you actively demonstrate to your families that you need Jesus more than anything? Do they see you desperate for Him? When situations come, whether they are crises or you are just going through life, do your children know that you need Jesus?

This ranges from the big things (school, health, financial issues) to the simple, small things, such as getting your drone copter stuck in the tree.

A father sits cross-legged on the floor of his living room, with his arms open and ready to catch his tot as they learn to walk in front of him. Fathers of faith rely on Jesus to guide and provide.

We can show our need for Jesus by praying with our kids about various situations we face. One summer evening, I was being a Faithful Father and watching my son Cooper fly his new drone copter in the front yard. I flew the drone a bit and bounced it off the neighbor’s roof and was able to bring it in for a soft landing.

Then, Cooper began to fly his drone again. It went up and up and up and landed in the top of a tree at the construction site of a new home nearby. It was a mess. We threw a football at it to no avail. We threw a soccer ball at it and still couldn’t get it out of the tree. Then the police drove by, and the officer stopped to find out why we were at the construction site. A few minutes later, I stepped on a rusty nail. As the sky grew darker and darker and my tired arm felt like it was going to fall off, do you know what else we did? We prayed.

We prayed, we threw, and we expected that drone to come out of that tree . . . and when I threw it just right, down it came.

A black and white shot of a father and son holding hands as they walk down a cracked road with trees on either side of them and buildings ahead of them. Effective fathers of faith fight for their families.

When things are out of your control, demonstrate your need for Jesus—in the big and the small things.

2. Effective Fathers of Faith Fight For Their Families.

Mark 5:23 states, “[Jairus] implored [Jesus] earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.’”

Notice the wording here“and [Jairus] implored him earnestly . . .” This means that he fought for his little girl. He literally begged Jesus and wouldn’t stop until Jesus did something about it. We also see in verse 21 that Jairus had fought through the crowds, as he was waiting by the sea for Jesus to come that way. Nothing was going to stop him from fighting for his family.

An older father and his son with downs syndrome, dressed in smart suits, sit and laugh together. Fathers of faith know to fight for their family is what they are called to do by God.

What do we learn from this? Fighting for your family might actually require physical strength, as well as mental, emotional, and spiritual strength. This is what God calls men to do. Men, are you exerting physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual strength for your family? We need men who are willing to fight! We need fathers who will stand up and be strong—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually!

3. Effective Fathers of Faith Submit to God’s Timing.

This one is so hard for us, isn’t it?

Verse 24 says, “And [Jesus] went with [Jairus].”

Jairus was desperate for Jesus and fought for his family. Jesus saw this and went with him. Can you imagine Jairus’s excitement over Jesus’ response? He went from hopeless to hopeful. Then something shocking happened.

A man with curly hair and a thick black beard scrunches up his face with his child who is doing the same and smiling widely. Their noses touch in affection. Being a father of faith means giving God the time and your trust to get things done in His own time.

Jesus stopped the ambulance, pulled the keys out of the ignition, and attended to someone else. Jesus stopped everything and turned around to see who had touched Him. Jairus’s heart must have stopped. What is Jesus doing? My daughter is about to die! Certainly, the needs of this woman can wait.

Guys, have you ever felt like God is delaying? Have you ever felt He has forgotten you? I’ve learned that God rarely works on our schedule! Sometimes people will say, “I am beginning to see God move.” What they are saying is that they can see Him working. But, if we know God’s heart and character, we know He is moving whether we see it or not. The question is: Do we trust Him?

Submitting to God’s timing means we trust Him!

A father and child grin at the camera while holding on to each other and sitting on the back of a metal park bench. A beautiful autumnal park scene in low light stretches behind them. Effective fathers of faith overcome fear by faith.

4. Effective Fathers of Faith Overcome Fear by Faith.

I believe that so much of this moment and miracle with Jairus hinges on verse 36. It reads, “Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’”

The New American Standard translation says, “Do not be afraid any longer . . .”  The grammar of this means to stop an act already in progress. So, literally, it means while you are fearing, you must stop and replace that fear with faith. And that faith is placed in the One who has conquered death.

Jairus had an encounter with Jesus, and we need one as well. Because of this encounter with Jesus, Jairus’s life was changed, and his family’s was changed. I believe generations after his were also changed.

A dad stands in front of a small Little League team all dressed in uniform with their baseball caps on. the children are sitting on the field and raising hands to answer a question. God challenges all fathers to be faithful in his role as a dad.

Dad, I want to challenge you to be faithful to God and to take your fears to Him. Below are five takeaways. I hope they will encourage you today.

1. God knows you at your most vulnerable point and loves you anyway. Go ahead and be desperate!

2. God will never reject you. As you fight for your family, know that He hears your heart and your prayer.

3. God is in control of your life and of the lives of those you love. He will always be the One who “fixes” it. You can lean on and depend on Him. Trust in His timing and submit to His leadership.

4. You will never be insignificant if you are His. He has a plan for your life, as a man, and as a father.

5. So, He says, “Do not fear, only believe.”

God bless you as you seek to be a true Father of Faith.

A Minute of Vision for Men by Roger Patterson

The front cover of today's recommended resource, A Minute of Vision for Men by Roger Patterson, a book to help equip all God-fearing men to be the father's God challenges them to be.

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