‘Fathers’. What is the ideal father? If you could design your own father, what would you design?
Probably most of us who had a good relationship with their father would design the father that they had. But I would suggest that if we thought about it long and hard then we need only look to the one and only perfect father, our Father in heaven. He had all the good attributes that our earthly father had plus many more.
As for me, well, when I look at my Dad, I am glad that he was who he was not because he was exceptionally good but also because of his faults and the way I was treated by him, making me the man I am. He was a military man who was raised in a military boarding school from the age of 5, where discipline was hard and love and compassion were low, until he went, as expected, into the military and then to the war. Needless to say, my upbringing was like his because that was all he knew. And he did his best with what he knew.
We are products of our parents and as the intelligent beings that God created us into, we must, not should, but must look at ourselves and assess what are the good traits we have learned and inherited, and what are the bad traits we have learned and inherited. Then we look to our father in heaven and Jesus who although not an earthly father, reflected all the perfection that God is. Jesus said to those questioning him, “If you know me then you know my father in heaven.” We can all see something from our heavenly Father in our earthly father and for what is lacking we need to say, “I love you dad but there are some things that I need to improve on in myself.” Then we call on the Lord and ask Him to help us.
When I was a young father, I found myself doing as my father had done and my son one day looked me in the eye with tears in his eyes and said, “dad, you’re just like your dad.” His words were so powerful, I had to sit down as they struck me. That night I shed a silent tear and asked forgiveness from my heavenly Father and begged him to make me a better father. He had a lot of work to do on me, and I think I am still a work in progress.
God tells us, “Honour your father and mother”- which is the first commandment with a promise- “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” No matter what, we must honour our father (and mother). We may not like everything but we must honour him because out of the millions and millions of fathers since Adam, God picked our father for us when he knitted us in our mother’s womb. He knew what we would go through and He has always been there ready to help us from our first steps as a baby to our last steps into eternity. We need only call out, “Abba” (Daddy) “help me!” and He is waiting and father knows best.
To all the dads out there and the future dads I say, where we have doubts, let’s look to our father in heaven as our mentor.
To all the children of which we all are, I say, honour your dad, they are only human and struggle at times. Hold their hand and walk with them, they appreciate your love and respect.
God bless you all