When I think about the qualities of a good father, one of the first things that come to mind is that he is a man of action. I think of “a doer.” My father worked every day to provide for our family, help put food on the table and clothes on our little bodies, and shelter us from the storms of life. In today’s culture, it often takes both parents working to meet all the physical needs of the family.
Fathers are also known for teaching us many things. It may be how to throw a ball, change a tire, cut the grass, catch a fish, fix a leaky faucet, do chores, handle personal finances, or a multitude of other experiences and tasks. Good fathers lead by example so their children can grow in wisdom and stature to be contributing members of society and make their world a better place than they found it. Fathers can be very proud when they look back on life and see their children achieving more than they were able to accomplish in life themselves.
Good fathers are spiritual leaders, giving the whole family an opportunity to experience a personal relationship with God. Although every relationship with God is personal and individual, children take the lead from their parents on the importance of exploring and establishing that relationship. How many times have we heard the statement “if you can get the father to go to church, you get the whole family?” The depth of the father’s spiritual life helps to establish and set the tone for the whole family. Leading by example spiritually is the best gift any father can give to his family.
Mothers are known for their nurturing and caring spirit. Children usually call for mom when they are hurt or afraid, and mothers are there to provide love and comfort. But, fathers can also play a critical role in teaching children about love. One way is by loving the mother in practical and visible ways. Holding hands, date nights, mutual respect, love notes, little gifts, etc. show children the importance of the marriage relationship. Another way a good father demonstrates love is through his presence. Being intentional about being there for games, concerts, birthdays, vacations, good times and hard times help in the bonding process for both parents and children.
God, our Heavenly Father, is the best example of all these qualities that we admire about our good earthly fathers. He is the ultimate provider – our creator and the governor of all things. The sun comes up every day without fail. The earth produces its fruit for our benefit all because God provides. God is our great teacher. He reveals Himself and His will to us through His word and His son. Jesus confirms the word of God as the way we are to live in peace, harmony, and blessing with God. Most importantly, he showed His ultimate love for us by giving His only son to take away our sin and give us the gift of eternal life.
Sometimes our earthly fathers fall short. None of us are perfect. But, we can always look to our Heavenly Father as the one who loves with an everlasting and unconditional love.
This Father’s Day, I encourage you to reflect and appreciate the blessings of our earthly fathers. Men, if you have children, think about ways you can be an even better father, or if you don’t have children of your own, reflect on how you can be a role model to some child who does not have that experience. Be a leader as a father, grandfather, husband, brother, or uncle to someone who needs your example today. This Father’s Day, we should all think about our own relationship with God and thank Him for being such a good father to us. Happy Father’s Day!