Fatherhood PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. John E. Russell Sr   

(Adapted from Derek Prince)

TEXT: Ephesians 3:14-15; Malachi 4:5-6

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.
Ephesians 3:14-15, KJV

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Malachi 4:5-6, KJV


The Fatherhood of God is eternal. Every fatherhood on earth derives its Sanctity, authority and importance from God's fatherhood in heaven. (He is the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.) Fatherhood on earth is a projection of God's heavenly fatherhood.

1. God Is A Father And He Has A House (Family).

Let us examine Ephesians 3:14-15 more closely:

For this reason I kneel before the Father
Ephesians 3:14, NIV

The phrase, "For this reason," refers to

the same words in 3:1 which themselves to back to the thought of Jew and Gentile becoming one body in Christ, and this body growing into a holy inner sanctuary for the dwelling-place of God.
Wuest 86

The phrase "I kneel," is literally, kampto ya gonata mou, "I bend my knees." This denotes humility, accepting the lordship of God the Father, worship and prayer—deep and sincere prayer.

His prayer is directed pros ton patera, "to the Father." Wuest says pros means "facing," i.e., "facing the Father" in this case (WUEST 87). He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, but this phrase was probably added later. God is the Creator of every living being, by classes or families. The word translated "Father" is patera, a form of pater. Pater is "from a root signifying a nourisher, protector, upholder…" (VINE 421). Paul uses the word "Father" here as the spiritual father of every redeemed human being and every holy [unfallen] angel.

from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
Ephesians 3:14, NIV

The 1973 edition of the NIV reads,

from whom the whole family of believers (Or from whom all fatherhood) in heaven and on earth derives its name.

The NIV footnote is included in parentheses. The word translated "family" is patria, literally "fatherhood." The word translated "whole" is pasa, "every" (VINCENT 3:383) Hence, the translation "every fatherhood."

A literal translation is

of whom every fatherhood in heavens and on earth is named

An expanded translation is

For Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named—[that Father] from Whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name

Jesus said,

In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
John 14:2, NIV

Heaven is a home and fatherhood is derived from the eternal nature of the Godhead:

But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God. 
Corinthians 11:3, AMP

Descending Chain of Authority

God the Father         Eternity
Christ the Son

Husband/Father        Time

Fatherhood is a projection into family life of an eternal relationship. God is the head of Christ and the husband is the head of his wife. There will be authority in the home when the husband is subject to Christ and the wife is subject to her husband. (There is a parallel with the Roman Centurion's authority.)

The wife is not inferior to her husband when she is submitted to him. Jesus said, "I and the Father are one"(John 10:30, NIV). Paul said that Jesus was equal with God:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;
And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:5-11, KJV
Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained;
Philippians 2:6, AMP

Jesus said, "... the Father is greater than I" (John 14:28, NIV). Therefore, to be subject to proper authority does not mean one is inferior, but it causes one to be in unity with the person to whom one submits. There is a harmony and unity between them and they become one.

When the Dispensation of the Fullness of the Ages arrives, Jesus will then return all authority to the Father:

Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.
For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
1Corinthians 15:24-28, KJV

As God the Father honors and exalts the Jesus the Son, so should the husband honor and exalt his wife. When this happens, the wife will submit to her husband. The husband should also love his wife as Christ loved the Church. Then the stigma of inferiority will be removed.

2. God wants our Homes to Be Heaven on Earth.

Jesus said,

This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:9-10, NIV

The Word of God is to guide all family life and love is to rule relationships. The home is to be a projection of God into humanity. There is no sin in heaven—every being is holy as God is holy. Every being is love as God is love—relationships are totally harmonious. This is God's will for the earth also. The basic human social unit is the family and holiness and love should characterize the family!

There are three eternal things in the Godhead:

1 Fatherhood
2 Headship
3 Fellowship—perfect and unbroken.

The key is the human father. He must be the head of his family and submitted to Christ.

The father has two specific ministries to the family:

1 Priest—he represents his family to God as intercessor.
2 Prophet—he represents God to his family—a spokesman for God.

He is also a

1 Provider.
2 Protector.

The average child forms his impression of God from his father—God intended it to be this way. No father can delegate this responsibility to a pastor, youth worker, etc. However, he can delegate limited authority to act in his behalf, i.e., in loco parentis/pater. E.g.: to a Christian school. Beware of allowing the government or anyone to usurp authority that is not scripturally right.

A major problem of the USA is renegade males. These men renege on their three basic family responsibilities:

1 Husband.
2 Father.
3 Spiritual head.

America is primarily a matriarchal society. The mother mainly cares for the child, especially if the father is the breadwinner. Then, the schoolteacher is usually a woman and the baby sitter is usually a woman.

Generally, there are delinquent parents, not delinquent children, but not always.

Children become captives to the enemy:

... my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.
Hosea 4:6, NIV

People are destroyed because of ignorance of God's Word. Fathers must know the scriptures in order to teach their children—otherwise God will be hindered in blessing their children.

The ministry of Elijah was to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children first. This ministry is needed today. Right relationships within families need to be established, beginning with the father:

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Malachi 4:5-6, KJV

God wants to rescue our children from the enemy:

Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?{lawful...: Hebrew, "captivity of the just"}
But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
Isaiah 49:24-25, KJV

God's order is for parents to teach their children. This is a secret of the longevity of the Nation of Israel:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7, KJV

If a man is not successful as a father and husband, he is a failure. The primary qualification for a spiritual leader is to take care of his family. Here are some good biblical examples:


And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that [are] not clean by two, the male and his female. {by sevens: Heb. seven seven}
Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. {by sevens: Heb. seven seven}
For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. {destroy: Heb. blot out}
And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.
And Noah [was] six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.
Genesis 7:1-7, KJV

Noah's righteousness saved his whole family.


For I [the LORD] know him [Abraham], that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. 
Genesis 18:19, KJV

God was looking for a man (father) to head a new race (nation) to bring forth God's blessing to the whole earth. God has no favorites—he will bless any man who, along with Abraham, will command his children to follow God (and teach them God's Word). Many wives take the spiritual lead because of their husband's default. No nation is greater than its families. There needs to be a transfer of power back to the fathers.


And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:15, KJV

And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4, NASB

Claim your children for the Lord:

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.
And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed [their] stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
Acts 16:31, KJV

Rahab's decision for God is an example for single mothers:

And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel [even] unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
Joshua 6:25, KJV
By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
Hebrews 11:31, KJV

Rahab's decision to be on God's side not only saved herself, but her whole household!

Blessings for obedience are listed in Deuteronomy 28:1-14. Parents' children will be blessed:

Blessed [shall be] the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
Deuteronomy 28:4, KJV

Curses for disobedience are listed in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. Parents will not enjoy their children because their children will go into captivity:

Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity. {thou shalt not...: Heb. they shall not be thine}.
Deuteronomy 28:41, KJV

Conclusion: Let us choose to say with Joshua, "...as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD"(Joshua 24:15).

This power article is based on Derek Prince's audio cassette tape, Fatherhood, © Derek Prince 1979 and used with permission. Visit this late great veteran missionary and Greek scholar's website at http://www.dpmusa.org/.

Copyright © John E. Russell 1995, 2004, 2016.

In Essentials: Unity; In non-essentials: Liberty; In all things: Charity
—Peter Meiderlin 1626

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 March 2016 15:58