A few weeks ago we celebrated Father’s Day. As I began to speak on the subject of fatherhood, I was once again struck by a phenomenon that occurs every year. As soon as I announced the topic, people in the congregation began to react. Some shook their heads. Some gave a wistful smile. Some wiped away a tear, while others wept openly. As the sermon progressed, the tears only increased. This happens in some degree every time I broach the subject of fatherhood. It is clearly a very emotional topic. We have in us a built in desire for a father. It is not by accident that our omnipotent and omniscient God has revealed Himself to us in the term, “Our Father.” In a day when fathers are hard to find, the majority of families have some disruption, and the siring of children outside of marriage is a socially acceptable practice, there are holes in many hearts. Fathers were designed by the original Father to do several things. The more our earthly fathers provide these things, the easier it is for us to receive the work of our Heavenly Father.
1. Provide identity: They give us a name and a heritage. Heb 1:4-5.
2. Provide protection and nurture: Ps 103:13-14
3. Provide for physical needs: food shelter and clothing. Lk 12:29-31
4. Provide instruction in the things of God. Is 38:19 / Prov 4:1
5. Provide correction when we go wrong. Heb 12:7-9
6. Provide an example to imitate: Eph 5:1-2
The list could go on, but you get the picture. The bad news is that many have missed these impartations from an earthly dad. The good news is that we get more chances! As Christians we get to have three fathers. We have natural fathers whom we honor. If they fall short, we have a Heavenly Father whose love is beyond our wildest dreams. In addition, since we are born into a new spiritual family, we get to have spiritual fathers who make impartations and provide examples that empower us to live this new life in Christ. Such a deal!
Scripture Reading: Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Extol Him who rides on the clouds, By His name YAH, And rejoice before Him. A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land. Psalms 68:4-6 NKJV
Somebody Said: I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. Umberto Eco
Musing the subject, I feel compelled to teach a bit more on how to let God serve as your Father. To those who have sired children, I encourage them to learn to be fathers. To the rest, it seems we should strive to live in such a way that others can see our Father.