Lately, I have sat and pondered what it really is to be a father, not that I will ever be one but…
I am so incredibly blessed and bewildered that God the Father loved me enough to give me such an amazing earthly father. Many see my dad as this incredible quite spirit with a caring heart and compassionate eyes. However, most aren’t privileged enough to see the deeper things…the things that make Dad my dad. His quick wit, sarcasm, wisdom, gentle and just corrections, loving embrace and level-headed temperament are all qualities that I love about my dad. The qualities everyone sees are just the tip-top of the list of great qualities my dad possesses and yet most feel lucky just to be around him.
As a child, he would play along with my goofy imaginative stories and sweep me away to a land far away from any sort of reality. I would pretend that he was my prince coming in to save the day and he would always win against any foe I would dream up. We would pretend that our clothes basket was a dark cave where the creepy things dwell or the blanket fort in the middle of the living room floor was the front line of the battlefield. He would dare our enemies to come near me and threaten them within an inch of their lives, no matter how fictitiously short they may have been, if they dared to cross the imaginary line he drew in the carpet with his fingertip.
I see now how incredibly blessed I am to have not just a father but a daddy. Some girls aren’t so blessed. I can’t imagine not knowing the warmth of a father’s embrace, the tickling feeling of his morning scruff as he greets you with kisses or the laughter of his pure amazement as you grow and reach each landmark and surpass it. Some little girls are left to ponder what life would even be like with a father in their lives; abandoned, abused, and confused these little girls will forever have a bad image of what a “father” really is. They will face, as women, a world dominated by men. They will be forced by their own preconceptions into a submissive mindset just to make it through the day. For these girls my heart breaks….. Because of the stupidity of the men in their lives they are forever scared and bear a pain far greater than I could ever imagine.
You see, God set the man as the head of the household. This means that first the father must be a loving husband (1 Cor. 7:1-5) who cares for, leads, loves, longs for his wife’s company, and honors her (1 Cor. 11:3, Eph. 5:22-33, Ecc. 9:9, Prov. 31:28) knowing that they are one through Christ who brought them together (1 Cor. 7:4). The union of a husband and wife is both holy and purposeful. Marriage brings the two together and binds them physically, emotionally, and spiritually in order for the male to lead his household with a loving boldness with his wife at his side; working as one (Gen 2:18-25).
The father must also be the priest of his household leading the family unit in a moral and Godly manner; teaching his children responsibility, training them in righteousness, sacrificing beyond the world’s view of the “call of duty”, and living a Godly life before them showing them how to forgive others and live a life that is pleasing to God and not necessarily to man. God’s word says tells us all to be as Christ (Eph. 5:1) and for parents, fathers especially, this could not be more important. Children look to their parents as the guiding compass for moral, ethical, and (most important of all) spiritual standards as to which they will set for themselves. I think about the parable of the prodigal son as a good example, other than God Himself, because out of love he sent his son away with his blessing and out of love he welcomed him back. It takes a man after God’s heart to do that… To be able to let your children make mistakes, learn, and move forward on their own and willingly show them the way, accept them in their dirt, and move on all out of love (Prov. 22:6-11) See also Eph. 6:4 and Tim. 3:16-17 for more on what a father should be.
In essence, a father is to be a reflection of God and the love of a father is a reflection of the love God the Father has for us as His children. A father daily gives beyond himself to meet the needs of his children just as our Father gave of himself beyond the call of duty (John 3:16-17). A father is to lead by the example God set before us in Jesus Christ, after all, he was and is indeed perfect quite unlike us humans.
Even after twenty some odd years I can honestly say that I still believe that my dad is a superhero and in reality he is. From a very young age, I realized that I could trust him with my life. This, of course, doesn’t mean that he literally leaped from the tallest skyscraper near us, but it does mean that he has rescued my heart and holds it captive until a knight in shining armor can come and sweep it away. He has shown me what a man of God should be; what I should look for in a Godly man. My dad was the one that taught me that your knees should be the strongest part of a person’s body—not their biceps. He taught me how distancing yourself and picking battles wisely was more important than any video game. He taught me that beauty that radiates from the soul will never fade (as long as I stay true) and that what the world’s view of beauty is superficial and changes with the wind.
I guess I should just say “thanks, Dad”. Thank you, Dad, for being such an amazing example of God. Thank you for teaching me, for loving me, and for guiding me. Thank you for being what no one else could have done better…. For being Dad. I look past the funeral director suit and tie and even past the deacon persona and I see DAD. Thanks!
I have really only now realized how much my heavenly father really does love me. My Father, with His own hands, created each and every one of us uniquely, wonderfully, perfectly, with a purpose far greater than our own acknowledgment and understanding. Mankind fails God and God delivers them over and over again. God sends His perfect sacrifice, the ultimate vision of love, the humble righteous just and caring personification of God’s character to die on an ugly cross for the sins of an undeserving mankind. The skies grew darker and Satin thought he had won, but not even a rock-bound by death’s chains could hold back the love that God had for us. In a bold declaration of liberty for everyone who would but believe and trust in His sacrifice The Lamb of God came bursting out of that tomb in the form of Jesus—our risen savior!
I am an artist in my own right and as a graphic designer, I see lots of artwork. I study it for fun and I have yet to find an image that could ever come close to capturing
God’s unfailing love for us; not even a painting of a little girl in her daddy’s arms would do. His love for me is the ultimate image of love. Mercy can be found in every brush stroke, compassion in every line, grace in every color, and justice in every instance of light and shadow. Painters have tried their best for many years to capture such an image, but their purely mortal hands are incapable of rendering such a masterpiece image of love. He, with His own hands, scattered the stars that people have spent countless hours studying, gives life to those that remain barren, paints with his fingertip a small portion of “the big picture” across the canvas of time, etches His love for humanity into the very depths of the hearts of every human. Nothing any man can create can duplicate the glorious love that the Father has for me….for us.
Thank your for the example you set before me. Thank you for being the ultimate standard not only for fathers but for women, daughters, and sons alike.