Lessons from the World’s Greatest Dad (Pt.2)
Happy Father's Day!

You and Your Father

Tomorrow is Father's Day in Australia. Unfortunately, when it comes to dads, the news is not all good. Steve Biddulph, in his best-selling book Manhood, estimates that:

    * 30% of men don’t speak to their father.

    * 30% have a prickly or hostile and difficult relationship.  

    * 30% go through the motions of being a good son and discuss nothing deeper than lawnmowers.

    * Only 10% of men are friends with their father and see them as a source of emotional support.

Those are sad statistics!

In an ideal world, we need to feel love and respect for our fathers and also receive love and respect back from them. However, maybe your relationship with your dad is not a good one. Either way, we have to come to grips with who our father is (or was), especially as men. A man’s masculinity, unconsciously and whether he likes it or not, is often based on his father’s masculinity. Your father’s mannerisms, tendencies, and even words are a part of you and are likely to emerge at any time (“like father, like son”). Who your father was matters. You must come to terms with him, his life, and why he was the way he was.

Biddulph suggests that every man has a serious conversation with his father. Find out about his childhood, his life story, his work, his decisions, and what was going on when he raised you. Find out the truth and don’t be judgmental. Break down the defenses. Get the story straight. It’s important to say, “Thanks”. Your dad may feel like he never “got it right”.

A parent has the power to crush a child’s self esteem. Few realise that, in time, a child holds the same power in reverse. Many fathers go to their grave convinced that they have been an inadequate human being. The pain of this cannot be overstated. Our need for love and approval cannot be overestimated. Maybe forgiving your father will be one of the most freeing things you ever do.

"See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse." [Malachi 4:5-6. NIV]

Yes, your natural father is the foundation of who you are. However, you are responsible to take what you’ve inherited and build upon it. Don’t be a victim by blaming others for where you are. You can’t control what has happened to you but you can control what happens in you. My dad never knew his father and grew up his entire life without a dad. Yet, by God’s grace, he worked through the pain of this and then did his best to become to Sharon and I the father he never had.

Thankfully we have a God who reveals himself as a father. Unfortunately, with the breakdown of marriages and family relationships today, we often develop a marred concept of fatherhood. Our natural fathers often fail in accurately presenting the character and nature of God. But no matter what our natural family situation may have been, God wants to be a perfect spiritual Father to each of us as His children. We can have a close relationship with him and know him as our 'dad' (see Matthew 11:27. John 14:6. 1 John 3:1-2).

Psalm 68:5. He is a father to the fatherless. When your father and mother forsake you, the Lord will take you up.

John 14:18. I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you.

In our Father God we have identity, acceptance, approval, relationship, a new family, and life purpose. Nothing can separate us from His love - it will never fail. He will never leave us or forsake us. He will provide for us. He watches over us - he knows the hairs on our head. His grace will be sufficient for every need. He will discipline us when we are going the wrong way. He does this because he loves us.

Think about your real dad today ..

Think about your heavenly father today too ...

Comments

Our Heavenly Father is more real than you and I. He is the greatest and best father! May everyone honour their earthly father and give glory to God, so it may go well for them. Thanks Mark for sharing your heart & for this excellent word of encouragement.

Becoming a dad has been an awesome experience for me in so many ways. I have two boys now.

When the first one arrived I felt scared. I suddenly felt all this responsibility and realised I had no idea what I was doing. But at the same time I had never felt so reassured of the love and care that God has for me and that He would be there for me to help me show this little guy how to live for Him.

The thing I am most grateful for after having the boys is how it has opened my eyes to how a dad feels for his children. And the boys are a constant reminder to me that as much as I love them that is nothing compared with the love and commitment God has for me.

And the simple things, like when they run to the door screaming "Daddy, daddy!" as I arrive home from work, remind me to love God and shout praises to Him because it feels awesome to have my boys love me and I want God to feel awesome when I show Him I love Him.

Thanks for this Mark. It's easy to slip into a lukewarm relationship with the family and not even realise it. The odd reminder to wake up is precious.

I grew up in a non christian home and I can say that I wish my Dad was a Christian. I've been going too church now for about 10 years, listened to 100's if not 1000's of sermons I've got about 150 christian books and i'm still searching! Its the little things that i don't have the memories of conservations about God that could have shaped my theology and life in the early years which would have made so much better than it is today. I can remember the subject of God came up once and thats it. I liken it too paul introducing Jesus Christ to the roman culture from day one. I've got no history no memory of God before the age of 20. In no way do I want too add pressure on too Dads I've got a good friend who grew up in a christian home his whole family christian except the 2 boys (who went astray) but are starting too come back and too him its so much easier why because he has a christian family around him Iron sharpens Iron but you can still be a great christian and it may or may not rub off on your children but the memories are there. If i ever have children I want them too walk in the truth of Jesus Christ. GB

Hi mikenotg. Just wanted to say thank you for your wise comment. Our 3 adult children, bought up in a Christian home, are not walking closely with God. I loved your point that "the memories are there". That is such an encouragement to keep praying and believing for them. Thank you!

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