Fathers have a great impact on our lives and our faith. In this Father’s Day lesson, “A Father’s Example,” children will learn from three biblical fathers – Noah, Abraham, and Joseph – that obedient, faithful service to the Lord is a part of the great plan for mankind to be redeemed through Jesus Christ. In addition, children will understand that even though earthly fathers aren’t perfect, God is the perfect, eternal father who has a special plan for each of their lives.
TARGET AGES: 10-14
OBJECTIVE: To learn how God used biblical fathers to display his own unique qualities and to fulfill his plan of redemption.
MAIN IDEA: Learning from biblical fathers (and fathers around us) will help equip and motivate us to follow God’s will.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Genesis 6:6-10, Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 22:1-2 & 9-12, Matthew 1:18-24
MATERIAL(S): blank paper, writing utensils, white board, wooden craft picture frames, multi-colored permanent markers, acrylic paints, paint brushes, small plates, paper towels, cups, water
Introduction (15 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “Lord, thank you for the fathers who point us to you. Help us learn from their examples as we strive to obey your word. Amen.”
ICEBREAKER TRIVIA GAME: “Fathers in the Bible”
Start the day’s activities by playing a trivia game regarding biblical fathers. Pass out paper and writing utensils to the children and ask them to number from one to eight. Then write the answers to each question on the board (in random order) so the children may choose from a word bank. Ask the class to write one of the names on the board to answer each question.
Next, read each prompt out loud:
- Which father almost sacrificed his son in obedience to God? (Abraham)
- Who was Solomon’s father? (David)
- Who had twin boys? (Isaac)
- Who was the first father on earth? (Adam)
- Whose sons became the twelve tribes of Israel? (Jacob)
- What was the name of John the Baptist’s father, who was silence by God until John’s birth? (Zechariah)
- Who was Jesus’ earthly father? (Joseph)
- Which father lost all his children on the same day but later received more children as a blessing from God? (Job)
Review the answers and discuss the Godly qualities each of the fathers represented. Say, “Today’s lesson will focus on three specific fathers from the bible and how their obedience to God played a part in God’s plan to save mankind through his son, Jesus.”
Lesson (15 minutes)
- Start the lesson by reading about Noah in Genesis 6:6-10. Ask, “How is Noah described (e.g. righteous, blameless, favored, faithful)?” Write the answers on the white board and explain that Noah was chosen by God because he was faithful even while living in an evil world. Talk about a father you know who is incredibly faithful even though he’s experienced many struggles and trials. Say, “Noah’s legacy is also spoken about in the New Testament. Let’s read Hebrews 11:7.” Comment that Noah’s “holy fear” lead him to obedience and he was rewarded by not only saving the lives of his own family but by becoming an “heir of righteousness (of Christ).” Emphasize that Noah’s example of faithful, holy living challenges us all to choose obedience to God over anything the world has to offer. Say, “Noah was faithful and God considered him ‘blameless’ even though he wasn’t perfect. But Noah’s ‘favor’ with the Lord shows us that God knows our hearts and will reward us for our own faith.”
- Next, read Genesis 22:1-2 & 9-12 to discuss Abraham’s qualities. Add the words that describe Abraham’s actions on the white board (e.g. sacrificial, trusting). Remind the children that Isaac was Abraham’s only son, yet he was still willing to give up Isaac as a sacrifice to God. Ask, “What does Abraham teach us about obedience to the Lord (that we should obey him even when it’s hard)?” Share with the class about a time when it was hard for you to be obedient to God and the blessings you received for obedience. Say, “Abraham was also rewarded for his trust in God because he became the leader of the Hebrew people and heir to the Savior, Jesus Christ. We can also expect God to do amazing things when we are willing to make sacrifices to obey God.” Acknowledge that God made the biggest sacrifice of all – sending his son, Jesus, to die for us!
- Lastly, read Matthew 1:18-24 and discuss the noble attributes of Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father. Add the words that describe Joseph’s actions to the list on the board (e.g. obedient, humble). Comment, “Isn’t it fascinating that Joseph willingly chose to be Jesus’ father even though he knew there were challenges ahead? Do you think it was an easy job to protect Jesus? We learn from Joseph’s example that we can obediently serve God even when we have a tough job ahead.” Also emphasize that Joseph shows us the protective nature of God through his willingness to be a part of God’s plans. Say, “God intends all fathers to be examples of his loving and protective nature. Even when human fathers fail, we can trust in a God who is always there for us.”
Craft: Dad’s Picture Frame (15 minutes)
Allow the children to choose a picture frame while you pass out the paper towels and paint on small paper plates. Say, “We’re going to create special picture frames for our fathers!” Then lay out the markers and give each child a paint brush and cup with water for rinsing. Encourage the children to first write short messages (e.g. “Thank you” or “Happy Father’s Day”) on the frames along with their names and date. Then allow them to paint the frames for their fathers. Also be aware of children who may not have an active fatherly influence in their lives and be ready to suggest additional recipients for the frames (such as a grandfather, uncle, friend, or other caretaker). Comment, “These frames can be given to our fathers or to someone else who has had a positive influence on our lives.”
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: Noah, Abraham, and Joseph were obedient and faithful fathers who trusted God’s plans. We learn from their example that God has put fathers in a special place to minister and lead their families.
CLOSING PRAYER: “God, thank you for being our perfect, heavenly father. Help us follow the faithful and obedient examples of the fathers in the bible and the fathers who have directed us to you. Amen.”