Like Father, Like Son
Father’s Day is this week, and this devotion is written in honor of the men who, whether they are our fathers by blood or by bond, continue to walk with and disciple us as children of God.
“Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” // Titus 2:6-8, NIV
When Paul penned this in his letter to Titus, his goal was to guide and advise Titus regarding his supervisory role within the Cretan churches. Titus was sent by Paul to Crete for the purpose of leading and overseeing the churches on the island. According to Scripture, he was called to “promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching” (Titus 2:1, NLT). In other words, he was called to father the church.
Used as a verb, “to father” means many things, including “to accept responsibility for.” In this case, Titus was responsible for ensuring the well-being of the Church and its members. He was also called to make sure that the community became a reflection of the Kingdom of God and the members matured into righteous, wholesome Christians who were then equipped to father other Christians. Another (perhaps obvious) example of this Biblical fathering was Jesus’ mentorship of the twelve disciples.
In the same way, earthly fathers are called to be examples to and mentors for their children, both biological and not. They watch their children grow up, watch them make mistakes, watch them fail and succeed, and watch them learn from others. Along the way, they guide, advise, suggest, and teach. They foster young men and women of God, and eventually, fathers let go and watch the children whom they have equipped begin to father and nurture relationships with others—and so on.
Yet here is the best part: You do not have to be male, you do not have to be married, and you do not have to have any children of your own in order to be a father.
I would propose that, in our own unique ways, we are each called to some level of fatherhood. We are never finished growing, failing, and learning—but at some point, we are called to “accept responsibility” for others’ well-being, whether that be as an accountability partner with a friend, a mentor to younger kids, or simply as a role model in our communities.
Discussion Questions: In what ways can you be a “father” in your community? Reflect on what your personal father figures have taught you—then thank them!
Thank you to all of the Dads out there this week and every week—whether you have biological children, adopted children, or no children at all, thank you for the impact you are making. We cannot express enough gratitude for you.
See more devotions from Megan and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.