With the celebration of Father’s Day l began reflecting on the qualities of a good father. Because for some children this day is in fact a celebration, but for others, it is a harsh reminder of loss or deep-seated disappointment. So what makes a good father? Who set these standards men attempt to reach or fall far short of? And the answer is God; He has set the precedent for Fatherhood. So when we refer to Him as “Our Father” it is more than just acknowledging Him as our Creator (Isaiah 64:8) it is also acknowledging Him as a loving parent to his children (2 Cor 6:18).
As our Father, God has put forth guidelines to lead us towards living a more righteous and thereby abundant life (John 10:10 NLT). And despite our frequent disobedience, He proves His unconditional love not only by forgiving us time and again but also by correcting and leading us back to the right path (Proverbs 3:11-12 NLT). As a good Father, He listens to and cares about even the smallest details of our lives (Psalm 37:23). Especially when we experience suffering, He is always there to comfort and offer us protection (2 Cor 1:3-4 NLT). And in these times of trouble, Jesus tells us all we need to do is ask. Because in the same way earthly fathers give good gifts to their children our Heavenly Father will too (Matthew 7:7-10). But it is important to understand that God is not our personal genie in a bottle, whose sole purpose is to grant our wishes. After all, He is our Father who deserves respect and obedience. So when we draw near to him in reverence He will lovingly draw near to us (James 4:8 NLT) and provide for our needs and best interests.
So whether or not our earthly fathers are present and/or fit this description of good parenting, we need to know there is an eternal, Heavenly Father who loves us and will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT). All we need to do as His children is lift our arms and voices in invitation. And then, we can celebrate Father’s Day every day.