This Sunday is dad's turn to be celebrated. According to the infallible Wikipedia (kidding)- Catholic Europe has honored fathers since the Middle Ages. So this week, at Light Up the City we take time to post about...dads.
Scripture gives plenty of reasons to celebrate dads- Jesus continually says he only does what he sees his father doing. The Old Testament reminds us of the importance of family and the duties of each household member. We are also taught God is our heavenly father, knowing what is best for us; having great concern, love and grace for us. There are literallyhundreds of verses that reflect on fatherhood.
My dad and I are almost completely opposites in many ways- he is a much more of a "man's man" than I am; he hunts with a bow, works on cars and...anything else that needs fixing; and he can tie any sort of knot you can think of, without a hitch (I get my sense of humor from him). These are all things he can do quite easily, that I cannot. He may not have been able to impart these things on me; however, the most important thing he conveyedwas his hope in Christ and love for him.
I walked away from faith in my later teen years and early 20s, and my dad's reaction to my stepping away shaped my journey back more than anything else I can recall. He didn't yell, or lecture or shame me- he actually just made time for me. My first year in college he would ask to meet with me regularly for coffee and he would just let me talk. This was very strange to me- as we didn't really have that kind of relationship when I grew up at home. But during those meetings over coffee, he always told me he was praying for me and would always call the following week to check in and schedule a time to meet.
Now I am a dad, to four amazing kiddos: Clementine, Flannery, Waylon and Harper. The past 12 years as a dad, I have experienced a depth to my faith I could have never imagined beforehand. I have learned to ask for specific things from God (just like I want to know what my kids want for birthdays and Christmas and what they dream about), that I should trust He knows more than me (just like I know that eating lollipops for breakfast everyday is not beneficial); and that I should just spend time with him, in prayer and in Scripture (like my dad made time for me and like I make time to spend time with my kiddos).
Fathers have a big influence on us- when they are present and when they are not. Yes, scripture instructs how to be a good dad, but the primary example is from our Heavenly Father, who sent his son to display true love and his desire to be in relationship with us. A father who loves us, not for what we do, but who weare...his kids.
Earthly dads mess up- no question about it. I do on a daily basis. Some of us have been abused, mistreated and ingnored by fathers. But there is One who doesn't mess up, one who will comfort, restore and always offer grace and loving goodness and kindness when we fall and even fail.
So to both children and fathers remember Ephesians 6: 1-4: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Happy Father's Day from us at LUTC