I remember when I was about seven or eight years old, finding a card that was blue and green and talked about grilling and other such fatherly things. I believe this was a fathers day card chosen for one of my grandfathers, however growing up without much memory of a dad Father’s day was a foreign concept to me. You see, my dad died of a rare form of blood cancer when I was three years old. I had (and still do have) both my grandfathers but the closest was an eight hour car drive away. I do not have concept of fatherhood in my life that I can remember. My mom remarried when I was already raised and a year away from moving out for college. I know that my daddy was a very nice Christian man that loved God first and his family second, I know that he worked hard to support us and that he loved being a dad. I have been told stories of how he would play with my older brother and I or how on Sunday mornings my mom would get me in my dress for church and he would tell me how pretty I was, but outside stories and shared relics from others I do not remember my daddy. With Father’s day approaching this weekend I wanted to speak on this and how my walk with the Lord has been affected.
We are taught the concept of God being our Father from the time we first come to Him. The Bible uses the term and/or idea of Fatherhood all throughout both testaments. We are taught to pray our Father who art in heaven and told that we become children of God when we come to Him. As a Christian this aspect of our relationship with God is not something that we can ignore. So how does a lady with a very limited concept of what it means to have a father, relate to God as her father? I believe there are many people who struggle to relate to God as a Father because their relationship with their earthly father was broken. This simply is not the case for me, I was blessed with a good and loving daddy. For me the problem has been just not understanding this role in my life. It is important for us all to realize that our earthly dads are not the definition of true Fatherhood. Yes, I believe that they have been given similarities to God (if they are living for Him) but the one who defines Fatherhood is the one who created it, God Himself.
So how does God define Fatherhood? Doing a word study on the Fatherhood of God I discovered that while Jesus was on earth more than any other term for God, He used Father. In fact in the Gospels alone Father is used for God more than a hundred times. In the trinity we know God as the Father (1 Corinthians 8:6) – Father God, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. We see that Jesus had a very close relationship with His (our) “Abba Father” (Romans 8:15) He often withdrew Himself to commune with God, He cried out to God in the garden of Gethsemane and then gave His spirit up to God on the cross. We see in the scriptures that God is our provider (Genesis 22:13-14, Psalm 145:16) and protector. (Deuteronomy 31:6, 2 Thessalonians 3:3) We know that God loves us (Zephaniah 3:17, John 3:16) and disciplines us (Proverbs 3:12, Hebrews 12:6). We are brought into covenant with God (Genesis 9:15). God directs our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). God created us (Psalm 139:14-16). God forgives us (Isaiah 43:25-26, Acts 3:19)
The Bible tells us in Psalm 68:5 that God is a Father to the Fatherless. This aspect of God’s character is such a blessing to me. I have never truly been Fatherless, my Father is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. And my earthly daddy has gone fishing with Jesus as his tombstone reads. I can relate to God as many things, but probably my most treasured way of knowing Him is as my Father. I may have grown up without my daddy, but I have never for a moment been Fatherless. And can I encourage you, if you are where I am and your daddy is in heaven or if your father is still on this earth but your relationship with him is broken take heart that God is our Father. God defines Fatherhood because He created it. Don’t let your broken earthly dad define your relationship with Father God.
If you do have a broken relationship with your father or your father is in heaven with mine, can I encourage you to press into our Heavenly Father this Fathers day? Let us remember that our earthly fathers are only human and will never be perfect – they were not meant to be. I encourage you to pray for that man, and then turn to Christ your heavenly Father who loves you with a love stronger than anything we will ever know. God is waiting for you to come to Him. Lay your dreams of a good relationship down at His feet and worship Him. He will restore what the locusts have eaten, I know this to be true.
My husband and I had our first baby 20 months ago and thankfully it has been in that time that I have begun to understand what Fatherhood looks like on a daily basis. Fathers have such an important role in their children’s lives. It is a different role from that a mother can provide and that difference is real. We live in a world that would like you to believe men can be feminine and women masculine but that simply is not the truth. We need both true representations in our lives. There are ways of relating that Lance has that I simply do not and therefore Matthew’s relationship with his daddy is different from what Matthew and I share. Matthew gets so excited when his daddy walks through the door at night. He loves to wrestle with his daddy and to go exploring with daddy. Matthew loves playing ball with Lance. Their relationship is a beautiful thing to behold.
So friends, how does a girl without an earthly dad celebrates Fathers day? I celebrate Fathers day and every day knowing that I have the God of all the Universe as my Father. I celebrate Fathers day because God restored what the locusts had eaten in my life and has allowed me to be married to a guy who loves his son fiercely. I celebrate Fathers day knowing that one day I will see both my earthly daddy and my heavenly Father – and that is reason to rejoice!
Happy Fathers day friends!
God bless you!