Third, a father PROTECTS.
Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. (Genesis 3:22–23, NLT)
For those who know this story, we tend to think of this as punishment, but it wasn’t punishment, it was protection. Adam and Eve had already eaten the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and became sinful. Now, if they ate from the tree of life they would have to live forever as sinful human beings. So, the Father, because He is tender and compassionate, protects His children by taking them out of harm’s way.
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. (Psalm 91:1–4, NLT)
That’s your job dads – to be a shelter for your children; a refuge; a safe house in the midst of the emotional, relational, and cultural storms of childhood. Especially for your daughters. You can protect them from the lies that our culture and media tell young girls by showing them pure love; by letting them know how beautiful they are; by establishing guidelines for clothing and dating. Sure, your children may view it as punishment, but you know it is protection. Your job isn’t to be their buddy or the “cool dad.” It’s to be their father. And they will thank you for it later.
And never ever underestimate the power of a father’s affection.
Fourth, a father TEACHES.