Bad Dads of the Bible


I don’t usually use my blog to share book reviews, but somehow this time it seemed appropriate. The subtitle for Bad Dads of the Bible by Roland C. Warren is “8 Mistakes Every Good Dad Can Avoid.” Roland C. Warren starts each chapter with a current dad story, and matches it up to a biblical dad story. He covers the mistakes made, and how good dads can avoid them. He even throws in some of his own dad mistakes for good measure. I find it amusing that some of the worst dads in the Bible were also some of our biblical heroes. It is a vivid reminder that Jesus truly was and is the only perfect person, and God is the only perfect Father.

Here is the chapter list:

  1. A Clarion Call to Fathers
    • In this chapter, Warren reminds fathers of the critical role they play in their children’s lives, and the importance of filling that role well.
  2. David: He was Paralyzed by His Past Failures
    • My favorite statement in this chapter was on page 29. We “struggle with understanding the difference between hypocrisy and spiritual growth. You see, hypocrisy is when you try to stop your children from doing something you are currently doing. For example, when a father says, ‘Do as I say but not as I do.’ However, spiritual growth is telling your children to not do something you did, because you learned it was not God’s best for you or violated his principles.”
  3. Laban: He Made His Children Compete for His Affection
  4. Jacob: He Turned a Blind Eye to Sibling Rivalry
  5. Saul: He Made it Difficult for His Children to Honor Him
  6. Abraham: He Abandoned His Child
  7. Eli: He Failed to Discipline His Children
  8. Manoah: He Failed to Tame His Child’s Talents
    • This chapter particularly intrigued me because I thought our children’s talents are things to be celebrated and encouraged, not “tamed.” However, Warren explains this “taming” as ensuring the child’s character and the way they use their talents honor the God who created them.
  9. Lot: He Pitched His Family’s Tent Near Temptation
    • This chapter deals with the issues of pornography and sexual addiction. On page 153, Warren states that “Pornography is a form of passive abuse that can irreparably damage a marriage and negatively impact one’s ability to be a loving and engaged father.”
  10. 6 Things a Dad Must Do to Be a Good Father
    • Good Fathers
      • Affirm their children
      • Are physically present
      • Are emotionally available
      • Are spiritually involved
      • Love and pursue the prodigal child
      • Reach out to the fatherless


This Father’s Day, I know of several people who will be spending their first Father’s Day without their Dad because he died during the past year. If you know anyone in this situation, please take a moment to share a kind word with them, and perhaps one of your favorite memories about their father.

Some fathers find themselves in the list of “Bad Dads.” I hope that’s not you, but if it is, I encourage you to take my friend Bennie Goldwire’s advice: “Let us all keep in mind: As long as God continues to Bless us with the Gift of Life there is always the chance for A New Beginning.”

For those who have the privilege of spending time with their Dad, help him know how much he is appreciated!


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