5 Biblical Fathers Whose Actions Influence Dads Today

Lynette Kittle

iBelieve Contributors
Updated Jun 03, 2024
5 Biblical Fathers Whose Actions Influence Dads Today

Fatherhood is not an easy task for most men. Add to it the fatherlessness plaguing the world today, and it gets even more challenging.

It’s hard enough to be a father for those who had the privilege of having a loving, devoted, and present father as an example. But it's tougher for men who were left to grow up on their own without an earthly father to turn to for guidance.

Still, God provides godly examples in His Word. 

Let's look at five biblical fathers and why their actions are still influencing dads today: 

Photo Credit: ©OpenAI's DALL-E

Abraham (chapt GPT)

1. Abraham Teaches Fathers to Fully Surrender Their Children to God’s Leading

For many fathers, Abraham seems like the worst one ever to even consider sacrificing his son. Why didn’t he question God?

Genesis 22:1-2 reveals that God was testing him, but Abraham didn’t know it. “Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’”

Abraham’s heart must have dropped at the thought of such a heartbreaking sacrifice, especially with the son God had promised him (Genesis 22:3-5). Still, he didn’t falter in his faith but built the altar and tied Isaac to it.

“But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!’

‘Here I am,’ he replied. ‘Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. 'Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son’” (Genesis 22:11-12).

Even more so, “The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, ‘I swear by Myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed Me’” (Genesis 22:15-18).

Abraham’s story encourages fathers to trust God completely with the lives of their children, even when they may not understand where He is leading them.

Photo Credit: ©OpenAI's DALL-E

Eli (chapt GPT)

2. Eli Gives Hope to Fathers Who Have Failed

It seems like Eli the Priest was a huge failure as a father. 1 Samuel 2:12 tells us, “Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord.” 

Scripture doesn’t tell us how this happened, but 1 Samuel 2:17 describes the extent of their sin: “This sin of the young men was very great in the Lord’s sight, for they were treating the Lord’s offering with contempt.”

Still, God entrusted the training of Samuel, the baby Hannah prayed for and received from the Lord. Why would God give him this responsibility, especially when it seems he failed so miserably with his own sons? Still, Samuel was flourishing under his training (1 Samuel 2:16-21). 

To Eli’s credit, he did try to correct his sons, but it seemed too little, too late (1 Samuel 2:22-25).

Yet, under Eli’s supervision, amid the sons’ corruption, “...the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people” (1 Samuel 2:26).

Eli’s story gives fathers hope that they can do better. Even if they have miserably failed with their own children, God may have more for them to do.

Photo Credit: ©OpenAI's DALL-E

zechariah (chapt GPT)

3. Zechariah Coaches Fathers to Keep Praying Expectantly 

In Luke 1:5-7, we’re told of a very old righteous couple, a priest named Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, who were childless. Yet Zechariah continued to pray for a child.

One day, while serving as a priest, burning incense in the temple with worshippers praying outside, after all those years of praying, God answered him (Luke 1:8-10).

“Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord’” (Luke 1:11-17).

Still, he doubted God. “Zechariah asked the angel, 'How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years'” (Luke 1:18).

Zechariah learned a hard lesson that day. “The angel said to him, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time'” (Luke 1:19-20).

As the story goes, Elizabeth conceived, and Zechariah remained speechless throughout her pregnancy (Luke 1:23-25). After his birth, “Zechariah asked for a tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And they were all amazed. Immediately Zechariah’s mouth was opened and his tongue was released, and he began to speak, praising God” (Luke 1:63-64).

Zechariah teaches fathers to keep praying, expecting God to answer, and, when He does, to believe Him.

Photo Credit: ©OpenAI's DALL-E

jarius (chapt GPT)

4. Jarius Shows Fathers How to Simply Believe

Mark 5:22-23 tells us, “Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, ‘My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.’ So Jesus went with him.”

Yet, en route to Jairus' home, “While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. ‘Your daughter is dead,' they said. 'Why bother the teacher anymore?' Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe’” (Mark 5:35-36).

Reaching Jairus' home, Jesus walked past the people wailing and crying, clearing the house. “He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.' But they laughed at him" (Mark 5:39-40).

Then Jesus took Jairus' daughter by the hand and told her to get up, and she did (Mark 5:41-42). Jarius teaches fathers to not lose hope but to just believe God no matter what type of commotion and disbelief may be surrounding them.

Photo Credit: ©OpenAI's DALL-E

prodigal son's father (chat GPT)

5. The Prodigal Son's Father Leads Dads in Reconciling with Their Children

For fathers who have felt rejected and forsaken by their children, Jesus tells of a father with two sons. “The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living” (Luke 15:11-13).

But after losing everything, the son turned to his father, broken and repentant, ready to become a servant in his father’s home. But instead of receiving his father’s wrath, the father welcomed his son home with open arms. “So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to this son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).

The prodigal son’s father understood that it wasn’t about the wrongs that were done to him but rather about loving unconditionally and forgiving his son in order to restore their relationship and bring them to reconciliation.

Photo Credit: ©OpenAI's DALL-E

Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.

Originally published Sunday, 02 June 2024.