"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” -Romans 8:14-15
Today is Father's Day, a day we celebrate the father and father figures in our life. It's an amazing time to stop and remember everything our dad's have done for us, how they've always been there, and how they're raising the next generation.
Growing up without a father myself, father's day has always been a day when I reflect on the goodness and love of my Heavenly Father.
It's interesting that throughout Scripture God is described just as that--as our Father-- over and over and over again. He could've chosen any way to describe the relationship He has with His people throughout the Bible, yet He chose to Father.
In the New Testament, we see Jesus calling God Father when He prays in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39-42), and Paul describes our relationship with God as being adopted into God's family, and thereby making us His children. In the Old Testament, we see God being a Father to the nation of Israel, promising that He will be their God.
It's no wonder that when raised around Godly men who surrender themselves to God we get a beautiful picture of what our heavenly Father looks like. In fact, I believe God created it this way. But when we're raised around men who aren't pursuing God, the image of God being a Father may be a hard one to grasp, and maybe even a painful one.
No matter the relationship you have with your earthly father, there is a heavenly one who is everything your heart has ever needed in an earthly father--and more.
Father's are strong. Father's are dependable. Father's are providers. Father's are defenders. Father's are handymen. Father's are adventure buddies. Father's are security. Father's are comfort. Father's are love.
When we look at God, we find Him more than able to be all these things. In fact, at the very core of His nature, He is all these things. And at the core of our hearts, we'll find if we seek Him, He is able to fulfill the longings we all long for in a father.
To all the father's out there, I want to thank you for what you're doing. You are truly changing the next generation, and as hard as we try to fill it, the void a father leaves is just not the same as having one around, just like God intended. We celebrate and honor you today!
And for those who are, for any number of reasons, without your father today, know you have a Heavenly one waiting and capable of being everything you need. Today and everyday.
Until next time,
P.S. For more on this topic, I'll link a blog I wrote about a year and a half ago. It came out of a season where I was really needing an earthly father, and found the arms of my Heavenly one. I hope that can encourage you today, too
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.” // Psalm 68:5
Happy Sunday! I hope you all are enjoying the Christmas season as we draw nearer to Christmas Day! This year has absolutely flown by, and before we know it, 2020 will be here.
If you’ve been reading my blogs or following my social media updates these past couple months, you’ll know that I’ve been on the struggle bus. In the aftermath of an unfolding of events, it seems like I have been wading in waters so deep, and they just keep getting deeper. It didn’t dawn on me what my problem was until last night, and that’s what I want to share with you today.
If you don’t know, I’ve never had a father in my life. My dad lives with his family in South Carolina (I’m in Wisco), and I was raised by my mom, with the help of my grandma from time to time. This never bothered me. Ever. I loved being raised by my mom — I didn’t even know what I’d do if I had a dad in my life. The concept was so foreign to me that the older I got, the thought of having a dad was basically eradicated from my mind. You mean to tell me that people live with a mom … and a dad?
I’ve often said that I would’ve had my upbringing any other way. That my father not being in my life was God’s way of protecting me (and in a lot of ways, due to the circumstance, it was). God has always been enough for me — the only Father I needed.
Until the raging waters of the ocean seemed to all sweep in against me recently.
Do you know the statistics of children who are raised without fathers? Children in fatherless homes are twice as likely to drop out of high school, more are likely to commit a crime, go to prison, face childhood obesity, and use drugs and alcohol. And in teen girls raised in fatherless homes, they are 7 times more likely to get pregnant than those who do have fathers in the home.
Think about that. If these are the statistics, it makes me think that God has ordained fathers to play a particular role in a child’s life. One of a protector, of a provider, and to give their children a sense of approval, worth and direction.
I don’t know what your childhood looked like or what your relationship with your father is, but something tells me if your relationship with your father is fractured, broken, or absent, there is something deep in your heart — if you know it or not — that’s empty.
I didn’t know that I was missing male affection until I recently received it from someone. It wasn’t overly done, and it wasn’t inappropriate, but it was enough to make me realize that I was missing a male figure in my life to comfort me, to hold me when I cry, to tell me I look beautiful, and to make me feel safe. Accepted. Okay.
And I think this is the very reason that those in fatherless homes find themselves at a higher rate of damaging behavior. We’re all looking for something. We all feel a void left by our fathers. Something that God made the human heart to need. Because of the broken world we live in, our relationships with our fathers are broken, too. Know, if you find yourself here today, it’s not supposed to be this way.
But here’s the good news — God is described in Scripture over and over and over again as our Father. As what? Our Father. Isn’t it interesting that of all the things God could be described as, He is described so frequently as this? Jesus referred to God as His Father time and time again. So if Jesus’ relationship with God was like one with a Father, and if Israel’s relationship with God was like a Father, and if we are called sons and daughters of God, then maybe God is trying to make a point here. Maybe He’s trying to get our attention and say: I am your ultimate Father. Your Heavenly Father.
God created us in the womb before we even knew Him (Psalm 139:13-14). He knit us together perfectly to reflect His image — to carry His Name. Just like we look like our earthly father and carry his name. He gathers up every tear we shed and stores them in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). He is present when we need a shoulder to cry on. His arms are open wide when we’re lost and running home (Luke 15:11-31). Psalm 68:5 tells us He’s the Father to the Fatherless. He’s the defender of those who don’t have one (Psalm 10:14). He’s the provider when our earthly provider falls short (Matthew 6:26). He tells us that we’re precious, and that we are enough in Him (Isaiah 43:4, Deuteronomy 7:6, 1 Peter 2:9).
No matter where you find yourself today–if you have the best relationship with your dad, or if you’re feeling the void today, know that you have an unbroken, perfect relationship with your Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).
Let your confidence come from your relationship with God, your Father, today. Seek Him, and you’ll be found by Him (Jeremiah 29:13). Run to Him, and be held in His arms. He is a good, good Father. And He’s waiting you to come home today.
Lord, thank You for being my heavenly Father. Thank You when this world leaves me broken and empty, You are there, and You are enough. Heal the void in my heart caused by the lack of an earthly Father. Fill it up so that it overflows with You and Your perfect love. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Until next time,
P.S. — If you want more on this topic, check out Louie Giglio’s book Not Forsaken. He also has a sermon serious on Youtube by the same title.
Statistics provided are from https://www.fatherhood.org/fatherhood-data-statistics