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7 inspiring examples of parents in the Bible

7 inspiring examples of parents in the Bible

The message of the Bible has a lot to do with fatherhood. It could even be summed up in the simple experience that God is our Father, is a Father who loves, accompanies, cares for and supports his children and even gives his life for them. In addition, numerous examples of parents who loved their children and transmitted their faith in the one God – to the point that Yahweh is known as “the God of our fathers” permeate the Bible pages.

In addition to patriarchs like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Bible tells the story of other fathers who are a little less prominent but equally inspiring. Learn more about some of them:



Aert_de_Gelder _-_ Esther_y_Mardoqueo_escribiendo_la_primera_carta_del_Purim
“Esther and Mordecai,” by Aert de Gelder. Image: Commons

Mordecai was a Jew whose great-grandfather had lived in the exile of Babylon. He adopted Esther, who was his cousin, when she was orphaned. When the young lady became queen, Mordecai became a member of the court and counselor of King Ahasuerus. It was he who denounced Esther and Ahasuerus a plan of two guards to kill the king. Moreover, Mordecai bravely resisted Haman, a prince who plotted against the Jews and sought to make the head of Ahasuerus to slay them. In doing penance, Mordecai denounced Haman to Esther, provoking his intercession with the king – which unleashed an incredible turnaround in the story narrated by the Book of Esther. Mordecai was able to act for the life of his people and his daughter and therefore received all the honors.




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“Oseias”, by Aleijadinho. Image: Commons

Hosea not only married and had children as a parallel occupation to that of a prophet, but her prophecy was completely intertwined with her family. According to the biblical book that bears his name, it was God himself who ordered him to marry a prostitute to make his marriage a sign of God’s love for his people: an unconditional love that stands firm even in the face of our infidelity . His wife was named Gomer and his sons Jezrael, Lo-Ruhama and Lo-Ami – each name indicated a message that culminated, in the prophecy of Hosea, at a fundamental stage in the revelation of God as mercy.




"The Dream of St. Joseph", by Anton Raphael Mengs. Image: Commons
“The Dream of St. Joseph”, by Anton Raphael Mengs. Image: Commons

Joseph, Mary’s husband and Jesus’ adoptive father, most likely had no biological children. In any case, it is not by these possible children that Joseph is remembered, but because he was the one whom Jesus himself called a father. Joseph truly loved Mary, even though he had the gentleness of choosing to flee – and hence be labeled as guilty – to denounce her when he learned that she was pregnant. According to the Gospel of Matthew, however, God showed Joseph in dreams what he wanted from him and the carpenter took care of Mary and Jesus. Just imagining the scenes of the paternal relationship Joseph had with Jesus in his childhood is to soften the heart.




"The Calling of the Children of Zebedee", by Marco Basaiti. Zebedee is on the right, in red. Image: Commons
“The Calling of the Children of Zebedee”, by Marco Basaiti. Image – Commons Zebedee was a fisherman from Bethsaida who probably had some success. He was married to Salome, one of the women who accompanied Jesus during his passion and crucifixion. Moreover, he was the father of two apostles, James and John, who together with Simon Peter formed the principal trio among the apostles, witnesses of scenes such as the transfiguration and the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Olives.





Jairus was a synagogue chief who had a single daughter, 12 years old. Seeing the dying daughter and hearing about Jesus, he sought him, knelt before him and begged for a miracle. Jesus went to the house of Jairus, but on the way they came sent from the house informing that the girl had already died. Then Jesus said to Jairus, “Do not be afraid. Believe only. ” With Jairus and his wife, Jesus approached the bed of his daughter, took her hand and said, “Girl, get up!” At the same time Jairus’s daughter revived. The episode is narrated in Matthew 9, Mark 5 and Luke 8. Jairus is taken as an example of faith and trust in Jesus.



Simon of Cyrene

"Christ Carrying the Cross," by Titian. The Cyrenian appears to help Jesus. Image: Commons.
“Christ Carrying the Cross,” by Titian. The Cyrenian appears to help Jesus. Image: Commons.

Like Zebedee, this is another character about whom we know very little. He was from Cyrene, a city on the coast of present-day Libya, and had at least two sons, Alexander and Rufus. The fact is that, in the midst of Jesus’ journey to Calvary, Simon was chosen by the guards to help him carry the cross, since the Nazarene was exhausted and might not even stand until the crucifixion. We do not know how the Cyrenean reacted to this unique opportunity, whose importance was veiled – for him, perhaps, it was just a disgusting episode in which he was forced to help a bloodied convict. However, the fact that Mark’s Gospel quotes the names of their children suggests that they were known to Christian communities and that,




"The Baptism of the Eunuch," by Rembrandt. Image: Commons
“The Baptism of the Eunuch,” by Rembrandt. Image: Commons

In addition to Philip the Apostle, there is another Philip in the New Testament. He is a frequent character in the Acts of the Apostles who appears for the first time in chapter 6 as one of the first seven deacons, those chosen to devote themselves to caring for the poor in the name of the Church. Then in chapter 8 we see him as a preacher in Samaria, where he also performed miracles. Soon after, the Bible tells how he preached the Gospel to a eunuch, minister of the queen of Ethiopia, and baptized him. Finally, in chapter 21, we see Paul and his group staying in their house in Caesarea. There, we learn that Philip is a father: Luke refers to his four daughters, consecrated virgins and prophets.