A Glimpse of the Father

This Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day! It is a day that we honor our dads. For some who may have struggled in a relationship with their dad or never had the opportunity to experience this relationship, this may be a difficult day. Nonetheless, through Jesus Christ, we can experience relationship with our Father God. He is the ultimate Father and the one that all earthly dads should seek to point people to.

One of the beautiful aspects of Jesus Christ coming to earth was that He came to show us a glimpse of who God is. In John 14 Philip asks Jesus to show them the Father. Jesus declares that they have seen the Father because they have seen Him (Jesus). His life perfectly exemplified the character of God (because He was God). Throughout Scripture and in seeing the life of Jesus, we see the character of God and the ways in which He is the perfect Father. Author Vance Fry offers five truths that paint a picture of our heavenly father:

  1. God is the source of life.
    God is the author and creator of all life. He created the birds of the air, the fish in the sea, and every human being which is an image bearer or Him. God has not only given us life, but He is the author of abundant life through His Son, Jesus Christ. (John 10:10)
  2. God lovingly corrects us.
    God always disciplines us out of love. The Holy Spirit corrects us and prods us toward decisions that reflect His love and truth. He does this so that we can share in His holiness. (Hebrews 12:3-11)
  3. God provides for our needs.
    God has provided us with everything that we need. He strengthens us, He sustains us, and He gives good gifts to be enjoyed to those who ask. (Matthew 7:11)
  4. God gives us His wisdom.
    True wisdom comes from God. He has given it to us in abundance through His Word which is the ultimate source for wisdom and truth. It is meant for our good and to equip us to do the work of the Lord. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  5. God always welcomes us back.
    God is the ultimate model of forgiveness. Even when we sin and turn away from God, He is always watching and waiting for our return. He runs to us with joy when we turn back to Him. (Luke 15:11-32)

The role of the earthly father is to be one that points to our heavenly Father and to serve as a glimpse of Him. Dads, I know first-hand both the privilege and difficulty of this task. Let’s consider how we can serve as a picture of Him to our children based on the above truths and characteristics of God, thus pointing them to Him:

  1. We not only have played a biological role in giving our children life, but we can point them to all that God has given life to. We can also remind our kids how God has provided new life for them through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  2. We can not only correct our children, but we can lovingly discipline them. We can lead them back to the right path while showing forgiveness, grace, and mercy. A lack of discipline would not exemplify the character of the Father, but intentional and loving discipline that helps to shape the heart will lead to a life and a healthy understanding of the character of God.
  3. If God gives good gifts to those who ask, we can do the same for our children! A father should not begrudgingly provide for the needs of their kids, but joyfully celebrate the privilege to love and serve them, providing for their needs with a heart and a desire for their good.
  4. A key duty of a father is to pass down wisdom to their children. We can instruct them in the wisdom of the Lord while showing them what it looks like to live a life based on God’s wisdom. Humbly seeking to be a Godly husband, father, and friend will provide a healthy picture of who God is while teaching them to embody those same characteristics in their own life.
  5. Our kids will mess up a lot. They will get on our nerves. They will bring us heartache, anxiety, and frustration. Why? Because they are sinners just like us. But just as we have received forgiveness through Jesus, we can offer our forgiveness to our children. When they turn away and do things that hurt us, we can wait with perseverance to welcome them back with unconditional love. What an incredible opportunity to help them understand the love of God!

Dads, we love you, we are thankful for you, and we want to honor you. To those that have struggled in their role as one who exemplifies God as our Father (and we all have!), there is grace, there is forgiveness, and there is time to start down this path. To those that have faithfully served to point their children to Jesus through word and deed, we all say thank you. Thank you for your sacrificial love and for serving as an example to the rest of us.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, grandfathers, and men who have stepped in as fathers in the lives of kids. We are grateful for all you have done to provide, coach, love, and point your children to Jesus. Thank you for giving us all a glimpse of our Father God.