Eli was by earthly terms the most successful person of his day; however, he refused to correct his adult sons who were in sin. Because of this, God judged Eli and his sons. From this story we can learn several lessons about fathers.
Fathers must get their priorities right
Eli was successful at religion; he was the High Priest. He was successful at discipleship; he raised up Samuel. He was the most recognized, popular, and powerful man in his nation. However, he refused to discipline his own children. His priorities were not right. God places our priorities as God, wife, and then children.
Fathers must honor God
The reason Eli’s priorities were not right was that he did not honor God. He was more concerned about his children’s happiness that God’s glory. Because of this he refused to get his priorities in line and correct his sons. For men to be great fathers they must first honor God. When God is honored in a man’s life all of his priorities will fall in line.
We must honor fathers
We must encourage fathers to be men of God who turn their hearts towards their wives and children. We must celebrate each small step a man takes to being the man God has created him to be. Wives and children can help fathers be the men God has created them to be by honoring them and encouraging them. If a man is not honored he will not even try.
God is the perfect Father
Many people in our society have had less than stellar fathers; some may have been abused or abandoned by their fathers. We tend to project the image of our earthly father on our Heavenly Father. This is part of why we must honor fathers and encourage them to men of God. However, we must realize that God is the perfect Father. We must constantly point people to Him through Jesus Christ.
Do you honor God? Do your priorities reflect this honor? Do you honor your father, your husband, and the father of your children? Do you have a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ?