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Hausvater: /HAUS-fah-ter/
noun (German)
1. Housefather.
2. Spiritually responsible head of household, including the housefather as assisted by the housemother.
>> Example: "As the Hausvater should teach it [Christian doctrine] to the entire family ..."
(Martin Luther, Small Catechism, 1529)

The five most important things a father does are these:

  1. Catechize his children in the Word of God, by praying with them, teaching them Bible stories and the Catechism, and taking them to Church to be baptized, to hear the preaching of the Gospel, and to receive the body and blood of Christ.
  2. Provide for his family and household, by working an honorable profession and using what the Lord provides with wisdom and discretion.
  3. Love his wife; faithfully serving her, sacrificing himself on her behalf; caring for her in body, mind and spirit; spending time with her, not only in mutual activities, but listening and speaking to her; and supporting her vocation as the mother of his children.
  4. Teach his sons to become men, by example and instruction, by correction and encouragement, by discipline, mercy and forgiveness.
  5. Give his daughters in marriage, by demonstrating the way a Christ-like gentleman honors a woman; by gently guiding and directing their relationships with boys and men; by protecting them from predators, saying yes or no to potential suitors; by serving and supporting them in the face of hurts and fears and failures, especially through the forgiveness of their sins; and by placing the hand of each daughter in the hand of the man who will become her husband and head.

It is through fathers, in particular, that God the Father in heaven teaches and cares for His children on earth. It is by Him that all fatherhood on earth is named; therefore, fathers are to serve their children in the fear of the Lord, by the wisdom of His Word and Spirit. Under His Word, a father speaks and acts with the voice and authority of God Himself, so that his children know through him what is the good and acceptable will of God for their lives. That is why it is of first importance that a father catechize his children (or see to it and supervise it), and why all else that he does is to be undertaken in the fear, love and trust of God; that he might always be turning himself and his children away from idolatry to serve the true and living God by faith in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

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