That blessing is his affection, to hear him say I love you, to know you have his approval, attention, participation, and belief in you. He also gives light to the fact if God wants us to know him as a father, the enemy is going to attack fatherhood. Louie Giglio, Summer Reading Series We see it all the time. Fatherhood is being reshaped and has been for awhile now. Women being overly independent (I used to be one and still fight it), the lack of value in “just” being a mom, decreasing moral standards, fathers running from their responsibilities, the list goes on of things contributing to the attack on fatherhood. Many of these problems have been created by a family pattern that hasn’t been broken. And there is no family pattern that happens overnight, it is years, generations of slow habits, mistakes, behaviors that bleed into the next generation.
I’m sure many of us would have different definitions of what our “perfect father” would look like. My idea of the “perfect father” would be one that doesn’t shame but teaches when I make a mistake, one that comes home from work and puts himself aside to spend time with his family, one that encourages, praises, and knows me well. One that shows up for the school program, follows through with his promises, someone who is trustworthy. Something I realized is that whatever your idea of what you are missing in your earthly father is often very close to the qualities of our Heavenly Father. Yet, we often don’t think of Him like that because of what our earthly fathers have shown us. The Bible has a lot to say about Fatherhood, particularly how we should think of God as our Father. The word father is mentioned over 900 times throughout the Bible and God is compared to fathers many times throughout the Bible.
Some of my favorites that show who God is as our Father are:
Psalm 103:13-Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.
Psalm 68:5 A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation.
Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. are you not worth much more than they?
Matthew 7:11 If you then being evil know how to give good gifts to your children,, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask him!
Deuteronomy 8:5 Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.
And one of my favorite is when Jesus is telling us how to pray he begins the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9 Pray then this way, Our Father who is in heaven.
Our God is compassionate, merciful, provides comfort, a father to everyone, ultimate provider, the best gift giver, is trustworthy, knows the best for path for us, and most importantly despite the failures we have as parents we ALWAYS have a loving Father in heaven. This characteristics should also be what we aim for as parents, but this job we have as parents is a tough one. We fail every day. I haven’t met one perfect parent yet. Every single moment with our kids is shaping their view of God and even the probability of them truly following Him in their lives. And the most important part in their lives for this influence are dads. A lot of parents don’t know how to handle this responsibility well because they weren’t shown how to parent well. But, thank goodness we are not on our own with this. Goodness knows we need grace, forgiveness and the very best parenting book. We can learn from it, adjust, ask for forgiveness if needed, and most importantly make sure our children know that when we fail them, because we will, they have a Father who loves them deeply, that they can run to, regardless of what is going on around them. It is the greatest love story ever told. A kind of love each and every one of us craves, the only one that will fill us. It doesn’t make sense to our logical minds, yet this story of love resonates deep in our souls and meets needs we didn’t know existed. He is it. Everything we need is in Him. And despite what we know to be true here on Earth, in Him nothing, nothing we do, say, think, feel will keep Him from patiently staying by our side and loving us as a child should be.