Become a Better Father: God’s 12 Character Traits to Imitate

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Written By Pastor Vlad

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You want to become a better father, don’t you?

As fathers, we often strive to be the best for our children.

However, in our pursuit of excellence, we may overlook the importance of looking to God for guidance.

The concept of God’s fatherhood is not merely a religious belief, it is a powerful example of the kind of fatherhood we should aspire to.

Ezra Taft Benson, the US Secretary of Agriculture under President Eisenhower once said, “Fatherhood is not a matter of station or wealth; it is a matter of desire, diligence and determination to see one’s family exalted in the celestial kingdom. If that prize is lost, nothing else really matters.”

As earthly fathers, we have the ultimate example of a perfect father in God’s character.

In this article, we will explore ten traits of God’s character as a father that we can seek to emulate in our lives.

Importance of Fatherhood in the Family and Society

Fatherhood is an incredibly important role in both the family and society.

Fathers are indispensable in the upbringing and development of their children.

Unfortunately, the absence of a father in the family can harm a child’s quality of life and physical and mental development.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 4 children in the United States is growing up without a father in the home.

This absence has been linked to several negative outcomes for children.

Kids who grow up without a father are more likely to experience:

  • Poverty;
  • Behavioral problems;
  • Lower academic achievement;
  • Risky behaviors, such as drug use and early sexual activity;
  • Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

The absence of a father in the family also has societal implications. 

Children who grow up without fathers are more likely to be involved in crime and other negative behaviors. 

This puts a strain on the criminal justice system and can harm the overall safety and well-being of society.

This is because fathers provide a unique form of emotional support and guidance that is different from that of mothers.

As a father, you must understand the significance of your role and to take an active role in your children’s lives.

Challenges of Imitating God’s Fatherhood in Today’s Society

Fatherhood is a divine responsibility that requires diligence, determination, and a desire to see one’s family exalted in God’s kingdom. 

Fatherhood is about fulfilling a God-given role in the family. 

However, in today’s society, the challenges of imitating God’s fatherhood are numerous. 

The changing family structures, increased work demands, and societal pressures make it difficult for fathers to be fully present in their children’s lives. 

In this section, I explore some of these challenges and offer insights on how fathers can strive to imitate God’s fatherhood amid these challenges.

Cultural and societal pressures that contradict God’s values

In today’s society, many cultural and societal pressures contradict God’s values of fatherhood. 

For example, the media often portrays fathers as either absent or bumbling fools who are unable to take care of their children. 

This can lead some fathers to believe that being present and involved in their children’s lives is not important or necessary.

Additionally, there are societal pressures that prioritize work and financial success over family time and relationships. 

Fathers may feel pressure to work long hours or pursue career advancement at the expense of spending time with their children.

However, God’s model of fatherhood emphasizes the importance of being present, involved, and nurturing towards one’s children. 

As fathers, we must resist these pressures and prioritize our role as fathers above all else.

We have a unique opportunity to show to our children the image of our Heavenly Father by learning His character traits.

We must strive to build strong relationships with our children and provide them with the love, support, and guidance they need to become successful adults. 

By being present and involved in our children’s lives, we can show them that we love them and are committed to their well-being.

Lack of positive father role models

It’s common in our society for children to grow up without a positive father figure in their lives. 

Maybe you’re one of them. 

Perhaps you’re reading this, feeling a sense of emptiness or longing for something you never had. 

It’s tough to understand what you’re missing when you’ve never experienced it.

But let me paint a picture for you. 

A positive father role model is someone who provides stability, guidance, and support. 

He’s the one who teaches you how to ride a bike, throws a ball with you, and shows you how to be a good person. 

He’s the one who tells you that you’re capable of achieving your dreams and that he’s proud of you, no matter what.

Without a positive father role model, it can be difficult to learn the skills and values needed to navigate the world. 

It’s like trying to build a house without a foundation. 

Sure, you can try to make it work, but it’s not going to be as stable or strong as it could be. 

It’s important to recognize that having a positive father role model isn’t a guarantee of success, but it can make a significant difference in a child’s life.

Busy and demanding lifestyles that hinder quality time with family

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. 

We all have responsibilities, deadlines, and commitments that demand our attention. 

Sometimes it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. But at what cost?

When we prioritize work over family, we miss out on the little moments that make life worth living. 

The bedtime stories, the family dinners, the lazy Sunday mornings. 

These are the moments that create lasting memories and strengthen bonds. 

If a parent is constantly working late or traveling for work, their child may feel neglected or unimportant. 

This can lead to feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem. 

So while it’s important to work and provide for our families, we must also make time for them. 

Because at the end of the day, family is what truly matters.

Personal struggles and weaknesses that affect fatherhood

Fatherhood is a journey filled with personal struggles and weaknesses. 

As a father, balancing work and family life can be challenging, especially if you’re the sole breadwinner. 

Financial struggles and the pressure to provide for your family can be overwhelming and take a toll on your mental health.

Additionally, insecurities about your parenting abilities can lead to self-doubt and low self-esteem. 

It’s important to recognize that it’s okay to make mistakes and that there’s no such thing as a perfect father on earth.

For example, I struggled with balancing work and family time, which led to me missing some of my child’s important milestones. 

It was a tough lesson to learn, but I realized that quality time with my children is more important than material things. 

Through my experience, I learned that acknowledging your weaknesses and working on them can lead to personal growth and a stronger relationship with your child.

The importance of seeking support and accountability

Parenting is a tough job, and it’s important to acknowledge that we all have weaknesses. 

Seeking support and accountability is essential to our growth as parents and our ability to provide the best possible care for our children. 

Admitting that we need help can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that we’re not alone in this journey. 

Just as we seek out experts in other areas of our lives, such as doctors or financial advisors, we can seek out support from other parents, church family, or small church groups. 

Having a support system can provide us with a sounding board for our concerns, offer different perspectives, and help us feel less isolated in our struggles.

Accountability is also important because it helps us stay focused on our goals and ensures that we’re taking the necessary steps to make progress. 

For example, if we’re working on being more patient with our children, we can find an accountability partner who will check in with us regularly and offer encouragement and feedback. 

Seeking support and accountability can be counterintuitive, but it’s a powerful tool for personal growth and can make a significant difference in our parenting journey.

God’s 12 Character Traits as a Father for Earthly Fathers to Imitate

As fathers, we have the incredible privilege and responsibility of reflecting the character of our Heavenly Father to our children. 

Though we can never perfectly replicate God’s character, we can strive to imitate His traits in our parenting. 

In this section, I will explore 12 traits of God’s character as a father that we can seek to emulate in our lives. 

By intentionally cultivating these qualities, we can become more effective and loving fathers to our children.

The Bible teaches us that God is a loving and compassionate father who cares for his children deeply. He is patient, forgiving, and just, and he provides for our every need.

Ephesians 5:1 instructs us to imitate God’s character as beloved children, which means that we should strive to embody these ten traits of God’s character as a father. 

By doing so, we can become better fathers to our children and reflect God’s love and grace to the world around us.

1. God’s a Loving Father – John 3:16

One of the most profound and powerful expressions of God’s character as a father is His unconditional love. 

John 3:16 from the ESV Bible states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” 

This verse encapsulates the essence of God’s love for us as His children. 

It is a love that is not based on our merit or worthiness, but on His own nature and desire to care for us. 

As earthly fathers, we can learn from this example and strive to love our own children unconditionally, without expecting anything in return.

God’s unconditional love is a difficult concept to grasp, but it’s true. 

You might be thinking, “How can anyone love me unconditionally? I’m not perfect.” 

But that’s precisely the point. God’s love isn’t based on our performance, appearance, or achievements. 

He loves because of who He is.

He loves us simply because we are His children, born of His Spirit and Word. 

It’s like a parent’s love for their child. 

Even if the child makes mistakes, disobeys, or disappoints, the parent still loves him/her. 

That’s the kind of love God has for us. 

It’s a love that never fades or diminishes, no matter what we do or don’t do. 

It’s a love that’s beyond comprehension, yet it’s available to us all. 

God’s love for us is sacrificial. 

As fathers, we can show our children this kind of love by being present, supportive, and affectionate.

2. God’s a Compassionate Father – Psalm 103:13

God’s compassion is one of the most beautiful and comforting traits of His character as a father. 

As Psalm 103:13 says, “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.” 

It’s a powerful comparison that helps us understand just how much God cares for us.

When we think of a human father’s compassion, we might picture him comforting a child who fell and scraped their knee or offering words of encouragement after a tough day in school.

But God’s compassion goes even further than that. 

He sees into the depths of our souls and understands our pain and struggles in a way that no one else can. 

He doesn’t just offer a temporary fix; He offers healing and restoration that lasts a lifetime. 

God’s compassion is a beacon of hope that we can always turn to, no matter what we’re facing.

3. God’s a Forgiving Father – Psalm 103:12

God’s forgiveness is one of the most inspiring aspects of His character. 

The Psalmist reminds us, “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he [God] remove our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12 ESV).

It can be difficult to fully grasp the extent of this forgiveness, especially when we struggle with forgiving ourselves or others. 

But think of it this way: when we ask for forgiveness, God doesn’t just cover up our mistakes, He removes them completely.

It’s like a stain that is completely erased, leaving no trace of its existence. 

This kind of forgiveness can be counterintuitive, as we often expect to pay for our mistakes in some way. 

But God’s forgiveness is a gift of grace that we can never earn. 

We can only accept it with humility and gratitude.

God’s forgiveness is complete and final. 

As fathers, we can teach our children the value of forgiveness by modeling it ourselves and by helping them to understand the importance of asking for and granting forgiveness.

4. God’s a Patient Father – 2 Peter 3:9

God’s patience is a remarkable trait that earthly fathers should strive to emulate. 

In 2 Peter 3:9 (ESV), it says “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

It can be difficult to comprehend God’s patience, especially when we struggle with our own impatience and desire for immediate results. 

But think about a time when you were patient with someone who made a mistake or needed extra time to understand something. 

Your patience helped them grow and learn, and it showed them that you valued them as a person.

God’s patience towards us is like that but on a much grander scale. 

His patience is motivated by love and a desire for us to turn toward Him. 

It never runs out, even when we repeatedly fall short. 

As fathers, we can learn from God’s patience and strive to show the same love and understanding to our children, even when they make mistakes or need extra guidance.

God’s patience with us is infinite. 

As fathers, we can emulate this trait by being patient with our children when they make mistakes, and by giving them the time and attention they need to grow and develop.

5. God’s a Protective Father – Psalm 46:1

God’s a protective Father, which is part of His character as well. 

As earthly fathers, we may worry about the safety and security of our children, but we can find peace in knowing that God is always watching over them. 

Every time I’m concerned about my children’s safety, I pray, “Lord, please look after my children, because no one else can do it like you.”

As the Psalmist says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 ESV).

This verse reminds us that we can turn to God in times of trouble and trust that He will protect us and our loved ones. 

Even when we face difficult situations, we can have faith that God is with us and will provide the strength and protection we need. 

It may be counterintuitive to trust in God whom we can’t see. 

But that’s where our faith comes in that helps us believe in the unbelievable and see the unseen as an accomplished thing. 

We can have confidence that God is always with us, and He will never leave us to face our challenges alone. 

We can have faith that God will give us the strength we need to overcome any obstacle we face. 

God protects us from harm and danger. As fathers, we can protect our children by creating a safe and secure home environment and by teaching them how to make wise choices and avoid danger.

6. God’s a Father-Teacher – Deuteronomy 6:6-7

God is not only a protector and a forgiver, but He is also a great teacher. 

In Deuteronomy 6:6-7, it says, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” 

We are reminded to take God’s teachings to heart and to pass them on to our children. 

This is a call to not only teach our children about God’s ways, but to also model those ways in our own lives.

As fathers, we have a responsibility to teach our children about God’s truth and His ways. 

We can do this by reading the Bible with them, discussing the stories and lessons found within its pages, and by praying with them. 

We can also teach our children by modeling godly behavior and showing them how to live a life that is pleasing to God.

Teaching our children about God’s ways is not just a one-time event, but it is a daily practice that we must commit to. 

We must teach our children through our actions and our words, and we must be patient and consistent in our efforts. 

Our ultimate goal should be to raise the children who love God and who desire to follow His ways.

God’s role as a teacher is an important example for us as fathers to follow. 

7. God’s a Comforting Father – Psalm 23:4

As a father, God not only teaches us but also comforts us in times of need. 

The Bible describes Him as our comforter, who is always there to provide us with strength and support. 

Psalm 23:4 (ESV) says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” 

This verse reminds us that even in the darkest of times, God is with us, and His comforting presence gives us the courage to face any challenge that comes our way.

As earthly fathers, we can learn a lot from God’s comforting nature. 

We must strive to be a source of comfort and strength for our children, just as God is for us. 

We must be there for them in times of need, offering them a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. 

We must also teach them to turn to God for comfort and strength, showing them that they are never alone in their struggles.

In addition to providing comfort, we must also teach our children to be a source of comfort and support for others. 

By modeling kindness, empathy, and compassion, we can help our children develop into caring and compassionate adults who are always willing to lend a helping hand. 

God comforts us in times of trouble and sorrow. 

As fathers, we can comfort our children by being there for them when they need us, by listening to them, and by offering words of encouragement and support.

8. God’s a Providing Father – Philippians 4:19

As a Father, God provides us with everything we need for life and godliness. 

In Philippians 4:19, it says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” 

It’s easy to feel anxious about our needs, especially in times of uncertainty. 

But God promises to provide for us abundantly, not just what we need, but according to His riches in glory. 

It’s not just about material things, but also spiritual and emotional needs. 

As fathers, we can imitate God’s provision by ensuring our children have what they need to thrive, not just survive. 

This may mean sacrificing our own wants and desires to provide for them. 

It’s counterintuitive, but when we give, we receive so much more in return. 

Just like how God’s provision is not limited by our circumstances, we can also trust that our own resources will not limit our ability to provide for our families. 

God provides for our needs, both physical and spiritual. As fathers, we can provide for our children’s needs by working hard to provide for our families and by helping them to develop a strong faith and spiritual foundation.

9. God’s a Disciplining Father – Hebrews 12:6-7

God’s discipline is not always easy to understand or accept. 

In Hebrews 12:6-7, it says, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 

It can be tempting to question why a loving father would discipline his children, but it is important to remember that discipline is not the same as punishment. 

Instead, it is a way for a father to guide his children towards righteousness and protect them from harm. 

Just as a loving father may discipline his child by setting boundaries or consequences, God also disciplines us to help us grow and mature in our faith. 

It may not always be pleasant, but it is ultimately for our own good. 

God’s discipline is meant to help us turn away from sin and walk in His ways. 

God’s discipline is a sign of His care and concern for our well-being.

Imagine a teacher who never corrects a single mistake on your tests. 

You may feel good initially, but you will never learn from your mistakes and improve. 

You may continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, never realizing that you are doing something wrong. 

As a result, you will never become a successful student.

Similarly, God’s discipline is necessary for us to guide us towards righteousness. 

And righteousness simply means to be right before God, to do the things that God Himself would do because He is righteous.

Through discipline, we can learn from our mistakes and become better versions of ourselves. 

When God disciplines us, we should trust in His wisdom and guidance.

We can emulate this trait by disciplining our children with love and consistency, and by helping them to learn from their mistakes.

10. God’s a Faithful Father – Lamentations 3:22-23

Have you ever felt abandoned or betrayed by someone you trusted? 

It’s a terrible feeling, one that can shake the very foundation of your being. 

But there is someone who will never abandon you or betray your trust. That someone is God.

As Lamentations 3:22-23 in the ESV Bible says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” 

What a comforting thought!

God’s love is unchanging and unwavering. 

It is not dependent on our actions or our worthiness. 

It is simply there, always. 

And not only is God faithful in his love, but he is also faithful in his promises. 

He always keeps his word, even when we don’t deserve it. 

For example, God promised Abraham that he would have a son, even though Abraham and his wife were well past childbearing age. 

And true to his word, God gave them a son, Isaac. 

God’s faithfulness is not just a nice concept; it is a reality that we can rely on.

11. God’s an Empathetic Father – Hebrews 4:15

God’s empathy is a remarkable aspect of his character as a father. 

Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

This verse shows us that God understands our struggles and can empathize with us on a deep level. 

It is comforting to know that we have a father who truly understands our pain and can relate to our experiences. 

For example, when we are going through a difficult time, God is right there with us, feeling our pain and offering us comfort and support.

This level of empathy is something we as earthly fathers should strive to imitate in our relationships with our children. 

By being present and empathetic, we can help our children feel heard and understood, which can strengthen the bond between us.

12. God’s a Wise Father – Isaiah 55:8-9

Wisdom is what God created the universe with. 

It’s a fundamental aspect of God’s character as a father. 

In the book of Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV), God says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

In other words, wisdom is defined as God’s thoughts and ways, which are higher than ours.

This means that wisdom is not just about having knowledge or intelligence, but also about having a deep understanding of God’s perspective and purpose.

It’s essential for us as fathers to seek wisdom from God and to apply it in our relationships with our children. 

This can involve making difficult decisions, setting boundaries, and providing guidance based on God’s principles and values. 

By seeking wisdom and applying it in our role as fathers, we can help our children grow and develop in a way that honors God and reflects His character.

It can be challenging to accept that we may not always understand God’s plans or the reasons behind them. 

However, we can trust that God’s wisdom comes from His perfect knowledge and understanding of all things. 

Like a wise father, God knows what is best for us and guides us accordingly. 

For example, when Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only son Isaac, it may have seemed counterintuitive to obey such a request. 

Still, God’s wisdom was evident as He provided a ram as a substitute and ultimately fulfilled His promise to make Abraham a great nation. 

As earthly fathers, we can strive to imitate God’s wisdom by seeking His guidance and trusting His plans for our families.

God as the Perfect Father who Covers Our Shortcomings as Imperfect Earthly Fathers

As earthly fathers, we often feel the weight of our imperfections. 

We strive to be the best role models for our children, but we fall short. 

We lose our patience, we make mistakes, and we struggle to balance our responsibilities. 

In these moments, it’s easy to feel discouraged and inadequate.

However, we can take comfort in the fact that we have a perfect example of a father in God. 

He covers our shortcomings as imperfect earthly fathers, and His character provides us with a blueprint for the kind of fathers we should strive to be. 

Let’s explore how God’s character as a perfect father can help us become better fathers to our children.

God’s grace and mercy toward us

As fathers, we can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the weight of our responsibilities. 

We want to protect and provide for our children, but we also know that we’re not perfect. 

We make mistakes, we lose our temper, we fall short. 

In these moments we can turn to God’s grace and mercy. 

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect; He knows that we’re human and that we’ll make mistakes. 

But He also knows that we can learn from those mistakes and grow as fathers. 

His grace and mercy are like a safety net, catching us when we fall and giving us the strength to get back up again. 

It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes in our moments of weakness, we can experience the greatest growth. 

Like a tree that bends but doesn’t break in the wind, we can learn to be resilient and flexible in the face of adversity. 

So let’s take comfort in the knowledge that we have the most perfect Father who is always there to fill in the gaps of our imperfection and show us the way.

Our limitations as earthly fathers

Let’s face it… 

As earthly fathers, we have our limitations. 

We can’t always be there for our kids, we can’t always understand them, and we can’t always give them everything they want. 

It’s tough, and it can be frustrating. 

But we can take comfort in the fact that we’re not alone in this struggle. 

Even God, the perfect Father, has had to deal with the limitations of human understanding and experience. 

He knows what it’s like to watch His children struggle and make mistakes, and He knows the pain of having to let them learn their lessons. 

It’s not easy, but it’s a necessary part of being a father. 

And by emulating God’s example, we can learn to accept our limitations and use them to guide our children toward a better future.

Imitate God as Beloved Children – Ephesians 5:1

In the epistle to the Ephesians 5:1 (ESV), we are encouraged, “Be imitators of God, as beloved children.” 

Despite the challenges of fatherhood, by following God’s example, we can provide our children with the necessary tools to navigate life’s challenges and become responsible, loving adults. 

As fathers, we may sometimes feel overwhelmed and unsure about what it means to be a good parent. 

However, we have an incredible example to follow in God’s character as a Father. 

We are called to imitate God as beloved children, which means that we can look to Him for guidance and inspiration in our own fatherhood journey. 

It can be easy to get caught up in our ideas about what being a father means, but when we focus on imitating God, we can be assured that we are on the right track. 

For example, God is patient and kind with His children, even when they make mistakes and fall short. 

As fathers, we can strive to show the same patience and kindness to our own children, even when they frustrate us or disappoint us. 

It may not always be easy, but by imitating God’s character as a father, we can become better fathers ourselves.

But imitating God’s fatherhood is not just about being a better father; it’s about being the best father you can be for your children. 

So, I challenge you, fathers, to take the first step towards imitating God’s fatherhood. 

Start by choosing one trait of God’s character that you want to focus on and make a conscious effort to implement it in your life. 

Whether it’s showing more love, patience, or forgiveness, take that first step and watch how it positively impacts your relationship with your children. 

Remember, your efforts will not go unnoticed. Your children will thank you, and most importantly, God will be pleased. 

Take that first step today and start imitating God’s Fatherhood. 

Your children deserve it, and you do, too. 

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