Many men have left their families for their own desires. Contingents of women are starting families with the intent of raising their children without a man in the house.
Gay marriage is also blurring the traditional roles of men and women within the household. With these weak examples of men in culture, it is a blessing the Lord offers good patterns of what a godly father should look like.
In the book of John, chapter four, a governmental official from Capernaum puts it all on the line for his child.
A godly father is a man of sacrifice.
Travel in the times of Jesus was difficult, and for a man to journey over 20 miles from Capernaum to Cana was a big feat. The land was wooded and very rough, making the round trip a minimum of two days journey.
He rode it willingly.
Some texts call the governmental official a “little king,” implying his work was of some importance. Thus, he probably held a position just under the king and was responsible directly to him.
Leaving on personal business would have been difficult, perhaps putting his job in jeopardy.
The nobleman left his child’s side; a child obviously close to death if you look at the passage. Leaving with the possibility of not saying final goodbyes would be a sacrifice for any father.
By seeking out Jesus, this official was saying his own Roman gods could not accomplish the healing his child needed. He would definitely take criticism by fellow countrymen, other officials and possibly the King.
Finally, he had to lower himself before a Jew to ask for help. The Romans believed in syncretism, but not bowing to men other than their superiors. This man bowed low before Christ – whom the Romans believed to be merely a teacher.
He sacrificed everything for his child.
One of the most difficult things a man can do is ask for help. There are plenty of jokes about men refusing to ask for directions, yet this is more often the norm rather than the exception.
Men must understand they need encouragement, wisdom, and guidance from those who have been there.
A godly father must have faith.
When the official asked Jesus to come to his home and heal his child Jesus said, “Go back home, your son will live.” After these words the man left immediately – in faith.
In the same situation would you have left? I would have probably stuck around hoping I could persuade Jesus to come, yet he went and his son was saved. We must have faith that our Lord has the best in mind for our family.
Finally, a godly father follows Christ.
Even before the father made it home he was met by his servants who told him that his son was healed. The father put it together that the healing occurred at the same time Jesus told him to go on home, and because of this, that man was saved and so was his household.
The most important thing a man can do for his home is to lead them in the ways of Christ. With this foundation, any family will remain strong no matter the storm that comes.
This Roman nobleman is a great illustration for any father on how to trust Christ for the welfare of their families.
We, as the readers, never learn his name but receive an example about fatherhood that is timeless.