Sunday, 15 June 2014

Father's Day

A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society."
Billy Graham, Christian Evangelist

I don’t know about you, but my Dad is one of the most incredible men I know. I’ve been abundantly blessed with a Dad who leads by example, who loves unconditionally, who walks a tight walk with Christ and who has always been there for us, no matter where we’ve been in our lives. He’s a major reason for my faith being what it is today and is the rock of our family. But for many people out there in this broken world, I know that this is not the same pretty picture. There are fathers who are absent, abusive, distant, weak, missing, passed away or who maybe do not share your faith. Many children have grown up without that sense of fatherly support and love and it breaks my heart, as I’m quite sure it breaks God’s too. Fathers are the cornerstone of a family. No matter the role they have in your life, they will have shaped you in some way and I pray friends, that it has been a happy shaping. However, we do not need to put all of our hopes in an earthly father because we have a Heavenly One who loves us so fiercely it takes my breath away. We can rest easy in that and hopefully find healing in Him, for those who have been hurt by the ones here on earth.

When I was thinking about writing this post and which direction I wanted to take it, two points came up. Both are slightly unrelated so allow me to deal with them separately. The first point was this: if I spend so much time with my Dad, investing in him as he invests in me and acknowledging the importance that time with him has, then how much more should my heart long to spend time with God. Talks with Dad encourage and focus me and quality time with him is the best. How much more then, should I be spending with God? A lot more, that I can tell you. It just dawned on me while thinking about this that God longs for us to call Him Abba, Father, Daddy. He longs for us to put that time aside with Him so that he can renew us and shower us with love and grace far beyond our imagination. It is always easy to sense when I haven’t spent enough time with my Dad; I need to get better at sensing my distance with God. No matter the earthly example of fatherhood that we’ve been shown, we need to remember that God is the ultimate Father. We are His children, His chosen ones and He just wants us to rest in Him. To take the time to tell Him about our day, our hopes, our dreams. He has our hairs numbered and holds our tears in His hands…who better to wish a Happy Father’s day than him? I’m not saying our Dad’s aren’t important; on the contrary, I think Dads are called to be mirrors of God’s love and affection for his children and are vitally important to society. But we must remember to see God in light of being the perfect father – His love for us knows no bounds. I wouldn’t sit on my phone while I talk to my Dad or only try squeeze time in with him just before I fall asleep – and then fall asleep mid-conversation with him! So I definitely should not be doing that with my Heavenly Father either. He knows your heart, just take it to Him.

The other point, and I’ll make it quick because this is getting long, is to the men: learn to be a father. And I’m not talking about necessarily starting a family and having children tomorrow (goodness knows you’re not all ready for that) but there are opportunities every day for you to learn to be a father to someone. One day, if God wishes it, you will be the head of your house. You will have your own family who is going to look to you for guidance, for strength and for an example of what God’s love is like. Start practising. Stand tall, be strong in God and support those around you. As it says in 1 Corinthians 16:13 - Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Ask God what you can learn from the men around you, be it your own Dad or other men you know. Allow yourselves to be enveloped by Him so that in turn, you can be an image of God’s love to His children. Women should do this too, in other ways maybe, but it’s Father’s day so let’s focus on the men J

I hope I’ve made sense. I’m just so grateful for the Dad that God has blessed with me that I sometimes forget how amazing my Heavenly One is. I pray you have a fatherly figure in your life who has shown you an inch of the love God has for us. This Father’s Day I’m going to spare a thought for all that God has blessed with me and be grateful for Him. I hope you will do the same. Let’s not let our lives grow so full (even with the good things like Father’s Day lunch with the family He has blessed with you with) that we neglect to spend time with the One who gave it all to know us.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads; thank you for being a blessing to us all.

Until next time; let go and let God.


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