When you understand God’s role as your Father, it will profoundly affect your parenting. Listen to Dr. Bruce Ware today on Revive Our Hearts as he talks about “Parenting with the Father Heart of God.”
I love Father's Day because I love my dad. He's everything a dad should be. He's patient, and generous, and loving, and kind.
I realize that many cannot say the same. Father's Day is often a reminder of what is not.
Yet God chose to identify Himself as our Father.
He is the Father some of you wish you had. He's the Father some of you are still longing for. He's the Father who never leaves, always provides, and who loves you unconditionally.
To help us better grasp what all a Father can be, God sprinkles His Word with real life examples of dads. I'd like to share examples of seven great biblical dads and what makes them great:
1. Abraham: Sacrificial Obedience. Who doesn't love Abraham? He was willing to obey even to the death of his son, a loving reminder of our Father's love for us. God gave us Jesus willingly, sacrificing Him on the cross for our sins. Is there any greater love known to mankind?
2. Jacob: Loving Provider. Remember the robe of many colors given by Jacob to Joseph? This was a love that didn't make sense. It was undeserved. It was unearned. It blew everyone's mind. That's the kind of love that God lavishes on us!
3. Caleb: Confidence Builder. Make your way to Judges 1 and read the story of Caleb and his daughter. This gal had so much confidence she asked for a blessing and a spring of water to top it off! Only a father who built that kind of confidence in her would allow her the freedom to have such boldness. We have such a Father who allows us to ask beyond our wildest dreams!
4. Elkanah: Humble Giver. Now make your way over to 1 Samuel 1-2. We read about Elkanah's goofy words to his wife and then completely forget about him. But imagine Hannah giving birth to Samuel and then telling Elkanah that she was about to give their only son back to God because of the vow she had made. Where was Elkanah in her decision making process? How would he react? He doesn't say a word in 1 Samuel 2. He humbly agrees and gives his firstborn and only son. Wow.
5. Zechariah: Overcomer of Doubt. This father is the first dad of the New Testament. Just when he's given up on fatherhood, God tells him he's about to have John the Baptist. Zechariah makes the trip from doubt to faith in the course of the nine months of pregnancy. His speech is restored in Luke 1:67-79 as he gives praise to God in overcoming faith!
6. Joseph: Careful Listener. Who wouldn't put Joseph on the list of great dads. Here's a guy who had every reason to freak out and leave Mary in the dust. But his quiet heart listens carefully. It's only when you stop talking that you can hear God speak. Joseph is the quiet listener. He doesn't miss a beat. He's an integral part of the story of Jesus.
7. Paul: Leader by Example. You're probably wondering how I made Paul a father, being that he's single and all. Paul is our father in the faith. He is our leader by example. It doesn't matter if you're a single person today without the prospect of kids, here is an example of a man who found young folks to love on and mentor. Timothy is his son in the faith and he pours himself into him.
I'm blessed to have a little bit of every one of those dads in mine.
But all of us have all of those characteristics and more in God our Father. I hope you know Him that way!