Father Knows Best was a favorite TV shows of the 50s & 60s. It ran from 1954 to 1963 and was so popular that after production ended, reruns continued in primetime for the next 3 years. No other TV show in history has done that.
The success was due to the character interaction. Jim Anderson (actor Robert Young, later played Marcus Welby) was more a ‘dad’ than a ‘father’. He was a responsible parent who loved his wife and kids. He was a man who would do a paper route int he rain for his sick son, Bud. He was a man who’d always choose to see Kathy in a school program rather than attend an important Chamber of Commerce dinner.
Many families would love to have the peace, balance, fun, and blessing of the Anderson’s in Father Does Best. Today’s family is in trouble. But God wants to make our homes a safe and happy place. What can a dad (and other family members) do to see God’s blessing? In Psalm 128, God tells us three things we can do to ensure that God will bless our family and make them strong.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. May you live to see your children’s children— peace be on Israel.
1. Godly fathers make family a priority.
This psalm places the blessings ‘by the sides of thine house’ and ‘about thy table.’ Too many men find their greatest joys at work, or in recreation, or with possessions. We can’t be at work all the time and there’s nothing wrong with having recreation time, playing golf or going fishing. And there’s nothing wrong with having stuff. But these can all distract us from the priority of our home and family. To have God bless our home, we need to make our home a priority.
2. Godly fathers walk with God.
The Bible talks a lot about how we walk. It means what we do with our time. This psalm tells us that if we will walk with God, He will bless us.
In Genesis, God would literally walk with Adam in the Garden of Eden. Today, we don’t have the physical presence of God, but we can walk with Him by reading His Bible and praying to Him. Because He has promised His special presence when even two Christians get together, we can walk with God by going to church, Sunday School or Bible study.
A godly father, who wants God’s blessings, makes walking with God a priority. And he models that priority to his family to copy.
3. Godly fathers fear God.
Psalm 128 opens with the promise of God’s blessings to anybody who fears Him. As a dad, it seems a little strange to want your children to fear you. So, what is God talking about?
Some people think this ‘fear’ is simply a respect, honor, or reverence for God. But if you look at the places the Hebrew word ‘fear’ is used in the Bible (I did), it means to be afraid.
So what does it mean to ‘fear God’?
Fearing God means fearing His disapproval more than anyone else’s. People often make decisions, good or bad, based on what they fear most. What kept me out of a lot of trouble growing up is the fear that my dad might find out. When we fear God, we will stay out of a lot of trouble. Oswald Chambers once said, “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else. Whereas, if you do not fear God you fear everything else.”
Fearing God means understanding that we don’t mess with Him. We don’t take him for granted. We don’t get Him mad. For instance, I loved my dad and I knew he loved me. I chose him to be my best man at my wedding. But I did not want him mad at me. It was not a good day when dad was mad. Fearing God means we live a life that pleases God because we don’t want Him mad at us.
I hope God blesses your family. He surely has blessed mine. Nothing can ever take the place of a God-blessed family. So, start today to get where you need to be for God to bless your family. He wants to bless you. But are you blessable?