Fathers—What Will Your Children Say About You When You’re Dead?

Fathers have a vital role in their families. It’s hard to overstate how much of an impact fathers have on their families (for better or worse!). For example, it’s well-known that because so many fathers have abdicated their spiritual headship role in their families, there is a great lack of godly young men available to marry godly young ladies. I praise the Lord for the impact my father had on our family and me as one of his sons.

When my father was dying in a hospital in 1995 at the age of 66, one of my younger brothers was with him and asked him, “Why did you love God’s Word so much?” We all knew that our father would never knowingly compromise God’s Word. He hated compromise. He taught us to spot compromise of God’s Word from a million miles away!

My father answered with something like this:

My earthly father died when I was 16, so I didn’t have an earthly father. So I turned to the words of my Heavenly Father and read them and studied them over and over again.

He became a student of the Word! He knew what God’s Word stated. And he wanted to make sure he let God speak to him through his Word.

My father understood that once someone used ideas outside of Scripture to begin reinterpreting parts of God’s Word, that was like unlocking a door to undermine the authority of Scripture. He knew that once the door was unlocked, it could easily be pushed open further as doubt led to unbelief.

Our father would always stand boldly on the authority of God’s Word. When he preached in church or taught a Bible study (I can still see and hear it as if it were yesterday), he would get so excited about quoting Scriptures that said, “Have you not read,” and “It is written.” When he quoted such verses, he would remind everyone of the authority of God’s Word.

When the pastor of a church we were attending stated from the pulpit that a Christian can believe in evolution and just reinterpret Genesis, my father met with the pastor to challenge him and explain that such a position was compromising God’s Word. Because the pastor wouldn’t change his position, my father led his family away from that church to a different one. He didn’t want us children to be led astray by this church leader. He took his responsibility as the spiritual leader of our home very seriously.

At my father’s memorial service in 1995, each of the six children gave a brief testimony about our father. We all individually prepared what we were going to say. As each of us shared our testimony honoring our father, we said many different things in different ways, but we also said the same thing! Our father’s impact on us about standing uncompromisingly and boldly on the authority of the Word of God came through in each of the testimonies. Yes, our father’s stand on biblical authority was loud and clear.

After the service, one of my good friends came up to me and said something like, “Wow! What phenomenal testimonies about a father’s impact on his children concerning the authority of the Word of God. I’m going home to ask my children, ‘What are you going to say about me when I’m dead?’”

I thought to myself, “That would be a great title for a book.” Imagine this title, “What Are Your Children Going to Say About You When You’re Dead?”

That certainly is something to ponder. What spiritual impact are you having on your children and others?

I’ll never forget what my father taught me about handling God’s Word.

For instance, my father taught me this regarding study Bibles:

Always remember that the notes in study Bibles are not inspired like the text. And always use the text as a commentary on the notes.

He taught us that man’s word is fallible and only God’s Word is infallible. While the notes may have some great explanations to help us understand the text, they can also have incorrect information.

What spiritual impact are you having on your children and others?

One example we discussed was the notes in the Scofield Reference Bible about the gap theory. The gap theory is a compromise position to try to accommodate the supposed millions of years into the Bible and come up with an explanation for the fall of Satan. When one uses the text of Scripture to judge these notes, it’s easy to see that what is proposed about the so-called gap theory is unscriptural.

Another example from my father dealt with supposedly true things that contradicted what the Bible states. My father taught us something like this:

If a person claims something contradicts Scripture, then go to the Scripture first and study the passage carefully in context and according to the type of literature and language. (He taught us the grammatical-historical interpretive method). If you are sure you know what the text is clearly teaching, and this supposed contradiction still exists, then there must be something wrong with what this person claims. And just because we can’t resolve the supposed contradiction at that time doesn’t mean the Bible is wrong; it means we just don’t have all the answers. We need to keep searching for the answers as there may be something we will find that will show us why that person’s statement is wrong. But you don’t compromise God’s Word just because something outside of Scripture seemingly contradicts Scripture.

I think all this (and much more) had a great impact on me! Whenever I say this while giving my testimony, I find people always laugh. They realize that my father had a phenomenal impact on me, and that is why I and the Answers in Genesis ministry stand so boldly on God’s Word today.

Yes, our father certainly had a great impact on his family.

Many verses of Scripture remind me of my father, but one of them is this:

For he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes (Matthew 7:29).

I remember my father telling people that because Jesus is God, and we have his Word, the absolute authority of the Word of God, we can teach God’s Word without compromise and speak with authority!

And people loved my father’s preaching and his teaching at Bible studies! He always spoke with authority because he passionately believed in the authority of the Word of God.

What are your children going to say about you when you’re dead?

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.






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