Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day is for the Fatherless

As we celebrated today the wonderful gift that God has given us in fathers I can't help but praise the Lord for my own father. My dad has been a wonderful example before me of a man who loves his wife and loves his children, and I have learned much from watching him. At the same time, however, I have thought: what will "Father's Day" mean for those without father's. When I say "those without fathers" I mean of course those who either have lost their fathers or who do not know them. How can they celebrate this day?

1) For those who have their own children it becomes imperative to celebrate it through showing what godly fathers should look like. Leading families, taking your children to dinner, expressing what it means to be a father. Dads in this position must show their daughters what a Biblical husband looks like, and show their sons how to be biblical men. Celebrate this day by acknowledging that while you are a flawed dad, you are striving to live Biblically before God and before your family.

2) Honor older men who have been "fathers" in your life. Specifically honor those who have been spiritual fathers to you. Express your appreciation for them. Treat them as you would imagine godly sons treat their fathers. Acknowledge that spiritual reproduction is of great importance and you thank the Lord for their service and love.

3) Love those who do not have children present to celebrate with them. The church is a family and for those who are alone on this day, show your support and love for these men. Take them to lunch, invite them to dinner with your family. Honor them as special guests in your home and demonstrate that they are not alone so long as they are a part of your congregation. Fill the void in both your lives with service to one another.

4) Thank God. Psalm 68:5 teaches us that God is a father to the fatherless. What a joy and amazing comfort this is. For some the thought of God being a father brings fear and resentment. But let it sink in that God is not like an earthly father. While earthly fathers are flawed, fail, and even hurt us sometimes God is perfect in His love, leadership, and protection. Those who have fathers have an earthly reminder of the great God who is the true Father of all Christians, but the Fatherless have this promise of direct connection: God is the Father of the Fatherless. The flawed and imperfect father need not distract them from the truth of what he is to point to: our heavenly Father. To be sure, our human fathers have great value, that is why God gave them to us, but the fatherless have this great comfort- God intervenes to be a protector, provider, and leader in the immediate lives of these individuals.

I am thankful for this great promise. I am glad to know that if my father passes on to be with the Lord that I have a heavenly father who will intervene for me where an earthly father is absent. Furthermore when I have children I can rest assured that as flawed as I am God is who I am pointing them to- Praise the Lord for all fathers (spiritual, biological, familial) and thank God that He is the perfect Father.


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