Let me preface this by saying I know not everyone reading this had a father who was a good model of our Heavenly Father. For those of you in that situation, I pray you can see your Heavenly Father as a model of what a father’s love ought to be. For all you dads reading this, know that your primary role as a dad is to model to your children the love of a father.
When I have pondered some of the wonders of how our Heavenly Father works, I try to look at my relationship with my own kids to know more about Him. Of course this is not always a good measurement. Often when I do this exercise it shows me where I have fallen short and need improvement. But knowing that my children will look to their relationship with me to better understand their Father in Heaven helps me to do my best to represent Him as best as possible.
One example of this is what I prayed for before service yesterday at church. The sermon was on “Trusting God under pressure”. What came to my mind as I prepared to pray to the congregation before the sermon was the differing perspectives between a father and his children. There are countless times when my children have been absolutely devastated about something. From there perspective, it was a major deal but from my perspective, I could see a bigger picture and knew that this too shall pass. My job was not simply to tell them this, but to love them through it.
When we go through tough times, from our perspective, it can seem devastating. But our Father has an eternal perspective and knows that this too shall pass. But He loves us through it as we face the challenge. He brings us comfort and reassures us that it will get better.
See God as our Father is intended to give us a perspective on His love for us. Of course this is better for those of us who had an earthly father that modeled His love, but that was the design. Even Christ used this analogy of an earthly father to help understand the Heavenly Father’s love.
“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13)
Jesus wanted us to think of how we would treat our own children, as a tiny model for how our Father in Heaven will treat us. He even says, “how much more will the heavenly Father…”
If you are a dad, think about how important it is that you show love to your children. You are modeling for them what a father should be like. You are a son’s first hero and a daughter’s first love. You are their first glimpse of a Father in Heaven. You won’t always get it right, but seek to get better. When you mess up, don’t be afraid to point it out to them. They already know you messed up… so when you admit it and ask for forgiveness, they see your humility (another chance to model God).
Give your children the best legacy you could ever imagine. A positive image of their Father in Heaven.
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