Today is Father’s Day in many countries in the West – a day when Dads receive socks and ties they will never wear, after shave they don’t like the smell of and more chocolates than they should eat – but most of all they receive expressions of love from their children. Those of us who are still fortunate enough to have our fathers will probably express our love to them in some way today as well.
Yes, the day is commercialised beyond belief and yes it is only another day – but I think that in these days when the very essence of marriage and parenthood are being called into question, we should take every opportunity to remind ourselves what it means to be a father or mother, a husband or wife.
When Spain redefined marriage, the Spanish Government rewrote birth certificates, removing the words “father and mother” and replacing them with “progenitor A and progenitor B”. Is that where we are headed in the UK? Is a father merely ‘progenitor A’? Is that what we are celebrating today?
I believe fatherhood is best exemplified in the Fatherheart of God. He is the one who said he would be a Father to us and created us to be not just his creation, but his children. He longs to have that kind of relationship with us. He wants to father us – to love us, to protect us, to provide for us, to share his heart with us. He understands that our greatest need is to be loved – and in his Fatherheart, he provides for all that we long for.
All of us have had fathers – some good and some bad. Some of us have been fortunate enough to have been loved well; others have been neglected, abused, even rejected. There is so much pain involved in the failure of a father to love his children as he should – pain that goes with the child a long way into adulthood, pain that perhaps never leaves. We all ache to be loved by our fathers, to be known by them, to have them share our joys and sorrows. And even the very best of fathers fall short. For we are all imperfect.We are all broken people and we do not love anyone as we should, not even our own children.
Whatever your experience has been of your earthly father, whether you are rejoicing today or grieving in the loss – actual or emotional – of your earthly father, God longs to gather you up in His arms and father you – perfectly, as only he can.
“I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” II Corinthians 6:18.
Let God love you today – as a Father.
Father God I wonder how I managed to exist
Without the knowledge of Your parenthood and Your loving care
But now I am Your son, I am adopted in Your family
And I can never be alone
‘Cause Father God, You’re there beside me.