It's Father’s Day today, but if your dad has walked out, or hurt you, it might not feel like an occasion worth celebrating. If your relationship with your dad is strained (or nonexistent), here are three things to keep in mind.
1. All dads are sinners in need of grace.
There’s only ever been one perfect parent, and you can't see Him at your breakfast table. God the Father is the only dad capable of sinless, perfect love. All other dads are sinners in desperate need of God’s grace.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
As much as he might want to, your dad cannot parent perfectly. The reality of life in a fallen world is that our sin puts shrapnel in other people’s hearts and their sin puts shrapnel in ours. Every member of your family, including your dad, needs grace and God’s help to act more like Christ.
Every member of your family, including your dad, needs grace and God’s help to act more like Christ.
Instead of responding to sin with sin (bitterness, rebellion, contempt), respond with the same measure of grace you want extended to you when you miss the mark. Even if your dad does not have a relationship with you or with Jesus, pray for him often. Here are some specific prayers to pray:
Pray that he would know the height and depth of God’s love for him (Eph. 3:18–19).
Pray that he would embrace his God-given design as spiritual leader of the home (Eph. 5:22–33).
Pray that he would flee from sin, especially sexual immorality (1 Cor. 6:18).
Pray that in his anger he would not sin (Eph. 4:26).
Pray that he would have an increase of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22–23).
2. No matter what, it is possible to honour your dad.
If you attend church on Father’s Day, you will likely hear this verse:
“Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you” (Ex. 20:12).
God’s clear commandment in Scripture is that we honour our dads. Here’s what that doesn’t mean:
It doesn’t mean that you agree with everything your dad says and does.
It doesn’t mean that you pretend your relationship with your dad is perfect if it isn’t.
It doesn’t mean that being in a family doesn’t have challenges.
It does mean that you intentionally recognise that your dad played a vital role in your existence. You wouldn’t be here without him! Honouring your dad also means that you give attention to the fact that fatherhood is a worthy position created by God. Here are some specific ideas for how you can honour your father:
Refuse to use your words to tear him down. Say things that build him up (Eph. 4:29).
Write down the things he’s done that you are grateful for. If you are able, share that list with him.
Pray for him often.
3. All people have a dad who loves them.
No matter what your earthly dad is like, you have reason to celebrate this Father’s Day because you have a heavenly Father who loves you. You are the apple of His eye (Ps. 17:8).
Though tarnished by sin, God’s design for families can help us to understand a deeper, more eternal love—God’s love for us. We are His girls, adopted into His family (Eph. 5:1) and heirs to His kingdom (Rom. 8:17). Much like DNA causes us to look like our parents, we bear the image of God the Father (Gen. 1:27). We are His!
This truth from God’s Word is sweeter than any message stamped into a card.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:7–11).
How do you plan to honour your dad this Father’s Day? How can you celebrate your heavenly Father in this season as well?
(words from LYWB blogger, Erin Davis)
- Pam and Marian run Kingdom Krafts & Beacon Books in Llandudno, North Wales. We are passionate about helping people out of poverty and spreading Christian resources.
'And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.' - Micah 6:8, NIV
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- SOPHIE xx