So often the Heavenly Father is thought of as menacing and distant… uncaring and harsh… irrational and inconsistent, but nothing could be further from the truth. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

Many have perhaps unwittingly used their poor fatherly examples as a way to keep from really learning the truth about the Lord. Others have chosen to use their earthly fathers as an excuse for not drawing near to Jesus. May it never be! “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” Psalm 27:10

May we never stumble over the earthly as we seek to know the heavenly. Yes, earthly fathers have a tremendous privilege and responsibility to reflect the Heavenly Father to their children, families, and the world around them, however not all fathers are born again believers. And others are still young in the Lord. And not to excuse sin, but we all fall short at times. It’s easy for us to forget that in order to know the truth of the Father, we must focus on the Son!

As fathers, may we first and foremost humble ourselves under the might hand of God. May we be willing to show our children that the best thing in life really is free, yet comes with a tremendous cost! May we demonstrate the importance of God’s Word and absolute necessity of praying for one another. May we be willing to show how awesome God is in blessing us with the privilege to share the Gospel with others. Our children need to see our daily dependence upon our Lord and Savior. They need to witness the complete and total integration of Jesus as our life! He’s not simply part of our lives. Jesus doesn’t just come into our lives. We must make Him our life. Only then will the love and truth of God and His Word begin to radiate as it should.

Our children, both young and adult, need to hear us pray and talk about the Word. They need to see our faithful feet sharing the Gospel and showing the love of Christ in this dark and deadly world. They need to see us stand up for the truth of Jesus and His Word and joyfully turn away from the enticements of this passing planet. They need to see our hearts fixed on our Heavenly home. In a world filled with examples, earthly speaking, the father’s has the potential to speak louder than all.

As children, may we never use our insufficient earthly examples as an excuse to serve ourselves. Instead, let us follow the Lord, daily spending time with Him. I had the privilege of seeing my own dad come to Jesus several years after me, so in many ways I was the one setting the example for him.

Growing up, we all have so many expectations of our dads, but all the what ifs, should haves, would haves and could haves just don’t matter in light of the Lord. 1 Corinthians reminds us, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11. After being saved we are finally free to focus on understanding and loving our Heavenly Father. Only then can we truly love our earthly dads as we should, often in spite of themselves.

And to those men who are older in the Lord, don’t grow weary in doing well! Continue shining the light of Jesus to those younger in the faith. My dad wasn’t a godly example when I was saved, but I praise the Lord for bringing someone in my life at just the right time, someone who took the time to encourage, correct, and instruct me in the Word. He was truly a father in the Lord. Again, in 1 Corinthians, the Lord, through Paul says, “I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have you not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be followers of me.” 1 Corinthians 4:14-16.

God is not some sort of mean, distant ogre in the sky, but He’s also not likened to a permissive grandfather who spoils us with soda and candy. To understand and know the truth about the Father, we must keep our eyes on the Son, studying His Word with humble hearts and ready minds. Jesus reminds us in John 14, “Philip said unto Him, Lord, show us the Father, and it should be sufficient. Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known Me, Philip? He that has seen Me had seen the Father…” John 14:8-9a.

For fathers seeking to point their children to the Lord and for children seeking to point their fathers to the Lord, may we truly make it all about Jesus, not us! If we want to know the truth about our Heavenly Father, then we must seek to understand and know the One who knows Him perfectly. Jesus really is the key to Father’s Day, turning every day into a day of worship to our Heavenly Father! What an awesome God indeed!

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD executes righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear Him.” Psalm 103:2-13