I have written many articles about our earthly father on “Father’s Day.” All of us are familiar with the Lord’s Prayer. It begins in verse one, “Our Father which art in heaven hallowed by thy name,” (Matthew 6:9). What if we fathers considered our roles by reflecting on our heavenly Father? I realize that God the Father is infinite and not limited in power or wisdom. Even so the Lord Jesus challenges us to strive to be like Him.
Let’s look at several roles we could follow.
A teacher — “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long,” (Psalm 25:5). Take the time to teach your children about life and God by your words and example.
A developer — “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are the work of your hands,” (Isaiah 64:8). Work to help model and shape your children for God. Proverbs says we are to “train them in the way they should go,” (Proverbs 22:6). I learned much about walking with the Lord by watching and listening to my dad.
A provider — “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap, nor gather in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26-30). This is one of our God given jobs is to provide for our families.
A protector — We know that our heavenly Father protects us every day and delivers us from trouble and Satan’s power. As fathers we are to protect and shelter our children as they grow up and become wiser. “May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to his Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light (Colossians 4:11-14).
A light giver — Jesus Christ is the Light of the World (John 8:12) and has instructed His followers to be the light in their world (Matthew 5:14). This light comes from the heavenly Father, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to the change,” (James 1:17). As fathers we are to share the light and truth of Jesus with our children.
Kind and merciful — “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ …” (1 Peter 1:3-5). Notice the words “mercy” and “hope” in this passage. As a father we are to teach our children the love, grace, mercy and kindness of God which produces a hope in their lives. Read Ephesians 6:4 as a guideline.
Well space has run out, yet there is so much more we can learn. I am thankful that our heavenly Father delights in His children. I am thankful for my heavenly Father and my earthly father who taught me so much about God. I pray God’s blessings on all the fathers today and that our heavenly Father will pour His love, grace and goodness upon them as they love and lead their children. Thank you, Father.
Dr. David Bouler of Global Faith Ministries, Chattanooga, Tennessee, contributed this column to the Journal Review. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.