First Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone despise your youth, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” Yes, Paul’s writing to Timothy—giving Timothy words to literally live by in front of believers. How’s this play out in our lives as dads? And why should it matter today? Here are 5 things the godly dad shows his family every single day.



So Timothy isn’t a dad here. But, can we agree the principles here are worth using as a strategy for godly fatherhood? Think about it: Paul was a spiritual father to Timothy.
We’ve written The Good Father, 8 checkpoints of biblical fatherhood and the Field Guides to examine the virtues of leading by example as a dad. Add this post to it! Here we go: The godly dad is an example in the following areas:
  1. Speech
  2. Conduct
  3. Love
  4. Faith
  5. Purity

Timothy was to live as a spiritual example of what a believer truly can be. Paul’s goal in writing and mentoring Timothy was so the people in Ephesus could develop godliness by looking at Timothy’s example. Hello #DadGoals! Imagine fathering with the goal of your child modeling the Christian example to a watching world. Sounds like a plan to me.


Paul is literally encouraging Timothy in this passage. Just as we should encourage our kids. People smarter than I have pointed out these five things are really two categories: traits #1 and #2 are OUTWARDLY observed or public traits while #3, #4 and #5 are INWARDLY observed or private traits.

#1 The godly dad is an example in speech.

What we say must be exemplary. “Speech” here points to all verbal expression. Dad, what we say matters. Dare I say this, HOW we say certain things also matters. Have you ever been like me and said the right thing the wrong way? No? I’m alone on this one. Great. Thanks for having my back. Seriously though, what we say and even how we say it—ma