Read Genesis 28:10-22.
Fathers play an important role in the lives of their families. Sadly, many of our homes lack a biblical understanding of fatherhood. Some homes have absentee fathers, others have abusive ones, and still others exude toxicity. However, even present, safe, and healthy fathers do not necessarily meet the biblical standard.
In this story from Genesis, we see young Jacob, not yet a father, but one to whom God promises many descendants. Since Jacob is unmarried and without children, the covenant promise and prescription clearly apply to him even in his singleness. Jacob will, in one sense, represent his family before God, just as Christ, the Head of the Church, represents His Bride and the Heavenly Household before God. Jehovah re-establishes His covenant promise to preserve a people and a place unto Himself. That preservation begins through Jacob as covenant head of God’s family.
Does that mean Jacob will be the perfect husband or father? By no means! Just as his forefathers did, Jacob will make mistakes, too. But also like them, God’s covenant decree levies expectations from him as a father and husband. He must love his wife as he loves himself (Ephesians 5:28) and must bring up his children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). If you are a Young Man reading this, how do you plan to live as a man of God, a husband like Christ, and a father-figure as Paul? Look to Jesus, who kept the covenant perfectly. Obey His commands and you’d be surprised by the results.
Holy God, help me not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of my mind. Amen.
Rev. Eduardo Soto Jr.
Pastor, Altavista Presbyterian Church