On 2 September we are celebrating a day that is recognised to honour Fathers. It is an opportunity to celebrate with them and thank them for all they do for us. We also see this day as a time to remember our fathers whom may have passed away. It can be a difficult time; however, we find our comfort in God (2 Corinthians 2:3-4) who is also known to us as our Heavenly Father.
When Jesus was here on earth, we know His father to be Joseph the carpenter. He was the one that raised Jesus, trained Him and cared for Him. Yet when Jesus went through baptism and started His ministry the reference to His Father changed and spoke more of His Heavenly Father than His earthly Father.
God the Father is also our Heavenly Father and loves us just the same as He loved His only begotten Son. Through what God desires and displays towards us is an example for us dads to take note and follow as we raise and relate to our own children.
In Matthew chapter 6 Jesus teaches on a number of topics to help us in our Christian walk. There are two things that Jesus had mentioned to help us follow our Heavenly Father’s example:
1. …your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Mat 6:4
We all at some point love to receive affirmation from those we look up to. This is so true for dads and how they relate to their kids and with mums. The Bible encourages kids to be obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1) and to honour them. But it’s not just about what the kids should be doing as it also reminds Father’s about what they should do – “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
I am reminded of this verse a lot, as my kids know it off by heart and quote it all the time to me. I try and quote back the obey your parents bit, but my kids always have a better comeback! As parents and particular dads, we are wise to earn the respect and appreciation from our kids instead of demanding obedience and forgetting the instruction in verse 4.
Encouraging words go a long way towards raising our kids and rewarding them for the great achievements they had made. Our kids are not perfect and dads aren’t either. But together when following how God rewards and loves us, our homes will be filled with greater love and respect for each other.
2. …your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Mat 6:8
We know this to be true with God as He has the attribute of being all-knowing. We are encouraged to pray and ask, and before we ever mentioned it to Him, He knows what the need is. The same can be true for dads and the way they relate to their kids.
We really only know our kids when we are prepared to spend time with them, to talk to them, show them how much we care and be interested in what they are doing. Through this relationship we have with our kids we learn more about them and part of our responsibility as parents is to understand what they need before they even know it.
This isn’t easy and through my experience I have got it wrong many times as I thought I knew what my kids needed only to find out (usually too late) I was wrong. Our relationship with our kids is always trial and error and even difficult at times. But what we have all experienced from our Heavenly Father is no matter what we did and the huge mistakes we have made, He still loves us unconditionally. That is the love us dads should be showing our kids because we make mistakes parenting them, and they are growing up which leads to mistakes they will make.
Knowing what our kids need before they know it really is just loving them!
Be encouraged in your parenting and know that it hasn’t been easy for any of us to raise our kids. We have God’s help as He is the example we all should be following. Have a great day on Father’s Day and through our celebrations and moments of reflection, remember God, who is our Heavenly Father and all He has done for us.
Happy Father’s Day to all our Dads!