Fathers and the Father
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. -2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Fathers are as old as the history of man. There have been human fathers ever since Adam, the first man and the first father. But the name “Father goes back long before that, for God who has no beginning and no end is known as “God the Father, one of the persons of the Triune God. He is first in priority, since He is the One of the Trinity who sends forth the other two, the Son and the Holy Spirit. You may not quite comprehend this, for we do not have infinite minds, but the source of all knowledge, God’s Word, declares this to us, and it is by your faith that you accept and believe it.
The genealogies of Scripture state “so and so begat “so and so, and on and on, describing one generation after another. It is fathers who are named in these lists, except for the few mothers the Holy Spirit desires to point out for particular reasons; but such is rare. It is through fathers that God records and lists the generations of mankind. Additionally, it is fathers to whom the weight has been given to be accountable to God for how they perform their God-given task of father.
Fathers are necessary for continuing life, as are mothers. It takes two to procreate. However, fathers were given tasks from the beginning, patterned after the Father in Heaven, the Creator of all fathers. They impregnate, they protect mother and child, they provide, they discipline, they instruct, they love. Mothers do part of these tasks, but the mother is free to be a mother because there is a father. A woman cannot be a mother apart from a father. A mother’s life is enhanced and blessed by a faithful, godly father and husband.
The genealogies give evidence of a continuing story of human life on the earth; otherwise life becomes extinct. The quality of character in a father will make life more enjoyable, while the lack of such character will cause life to be onerous. There are fathers of both stripes. The father of honorable character deserves the honor and respect of his wife and children. In our time, Father’s Day is a small means of celebrating the existence of and gratefulness for fathers, especially those of righteous, compassionate character in imitation of God our Father.
Fathers are to look to God as the example of perfect fathering. Imitating Him is the mark by which they are judged or find success. Sin always mars a father’s work, but God Himself provides through Jesus for sin’s defeat and redeeming sin’s ill effects. A father cannot fully succeed without knowing God. He must be a father who studies God assiduously in a lifelong pursuit and thereby establishes the work of his hands in being a father. You can never get enough of such study.
You may look to other admirable fathers for encouragement, but your personal study and knowledge of God is an essential characteristic of being a good and loving father. God presents Himself as a Father worthy of your imitation from Genesis to Revelation. It behooves you, therefore, to be in all of Scripture, learning how He fathers.
God, in being a Father to all of His children, sets forth examples of how He handles numerous specific situations with fairness, rightness, compassion, and love. I doubt you can contrive of any issues He has not dealt with in one form or another. He is all-encompassing, but you will not always immediately see Him in all those matters without your study, prayer, and the Holy Spirit guiding your thoughts.
Why not use this Father’s Day to act as a catalyst to study the Fatherhood of God, both to make you a more Christ-like individual and a more God-like father? He is the example of compassion and comfort; no one loves so well as God loves you! Be reminded that a good number of eternal beings will be greatly impacted by your choices and actions arising directly from your love of God the Father – your wife, your children, your grandchildren, and your friends.
“His love is like a father’s to His children, tender and kind to all who fear His name; for well He knows our weakness and our frailty, He knows that we are dust, He knows our frame. Bless Him forever, wondrous in might. Bless Him, His servants that in His will delight.
(Third verse of Psalm 103 from The Psalter, 1912)
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