For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:20)
What is a Good Father?
In my last post regarding our relationship with God, I explored the importance of being able to see God as a heavenly Father. It can be difficult though, for some of us, for a number of reasons. In the verse above, the bible tells us that spiritual things are always shown to us in the physical realm so that we can better understand them. Therefore, today I thought I would touch on the characteristics that a father should have and show you some bible verses related to each.
For those of you that do not or have not had a good father image in your life, I pray that as you read these characteristics that you have experienced them firsthand somehow in someone close to you. Remember that God is perfect, and does possess all of these traits...ALL THE TIME! What a gracious God and heavenly Father we have! :)
A good father(or good parent)...
Loves and cares for His child. (1 Peter 5:7)
Protects his child. (Matthew 18:6)
Provides for his child. (Philippians 4:19)
Guides and teaches his child. (John 14:26)
Helps his child. (Psalm 46:1)
Will not discourage his child. (Colossians 3:21)
Disciplines his child. (Hebrews 12:5-11)
Feeds his child. (Matthew 4:4)
Has a plan for his child. (Romans 8:28-29)
(Note: Taken from Biblical Discipleship - Lesson 1, Reality Publishing, Inc. 1999)
As I review the above qualities I am reminded of how complete God's love is for me. Have I experienced all of these things personally from my own parents? Yes, and it is definitely helpful in my seeing what each of these traits looks like applied to life rather than just reading about it in a book or blog. If you haven't seen these qualities in your own father, have you seen them at all in perhaps one other person or maybe a variety of individuals?
If we as children of God can imagine love, protection, guidance or help at all, then we should have some concept of how God can be a Father to us. It may take some work, but I think it can be done if we just believe in what God says to us in His word. (If any of you readers have some personal insights you would like to share for others struggling in this area, I would love your comments!)
It may be hard to imagine a perfect parent, but just think how easy it would be to obey, respect and trust that perfect mom or dad. I assure you that none of us have seen perfection in our parents, and none of us will ever be perfect parents. Hmmm...I wonder if my dog-children realize how imperfect I am! Thankfully, they can't read my bible to see what I should be! :) Tying this in to "part I", if we know how perfectly caring and loving God is as a "Father" to His children, we are more apt to depend on Him. Once we know we can trust Him fully, we will automatically come to Him frequently and humbly as only a child can come to His parent for help.