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Three Father Figures from the Bible

So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. Psalm 71:18 (ESV)

The Bible calls us to train our children in God's ways and to share the wonders He has done with the next generation so they will trust in God and will, in turn, teach their own children about Him (Psalm 78:2-7).

Though their children and grandchildren may be grown, seniors of faith can continue to guide their families spiritually by praying for them and talking about their testimony.

As we celebrate Father's Day this month, we encourage residents throughout the communities under the Bethesda Senior Living Communities umbrella to remember the effect they have not only on their own families but also on the other people that God brings into their lives.

Older men who choose to mentor can continue to serve as a role model and help support children, teens or younger adults that they've met through their churches or local communities.

The Bible has many instances of mentors instructing and guiding a younger individual. Here are just a few examples of the father figures in the Bible who stepped into this important role.

1. Moses

But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he shall go over at the head of this people, and he shall put them in possession of the land you shall see. Deuteronomy 3:28 (ESV)

Numbers 11:28 tells us that since his youth, Joshua had served as Moses's assistant. During the forty years in the desert, Joshua is rarely far from the older man's side as seen when Moses climbs the mount to receive the law (Exodus 32:17) and when Moses speaks with God in the tent (Exodus 33:11).

2. Elijah

And Elijah said to Elisha, "Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel." But Elisha said, "As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So they went down to Bethel. 2 Kings 2:2 (ESV)

Before being taken up into heaven, Elijah asked Elisha three times to stay behind, but the younger man refused to leave his side. Though the Bible doesn't record many stories with the two of them together, it notes that they continued walking and talking until the moment that God took Elijah up in the whirlwind.

3. Paul

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 2 Timothy 1:3-4 (ESV)

Paul makes it clear in many of his letters that he regards Timothy as a son whom he loves dearly. Timothy is first seen in Acts 16:1. There, the younger man is already described as a disciple, and Paul wants to bring him along on his next mission trip. Within a few chapters, Timothy is listed as one of Paul's helpers and is mentioned repeatedly throughout the rest of the New Testament.