“Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do”
These are lines from one of my favorite songs - “Daughters” by John Mayer. It’s a beautiful reminder for both fathers and mothers to be aware of the impact they’re making on their kids. Father’s Day, like Mother’s Day, can be tricky for many. So many men and women did not grow up with a great father-figure which can make a day like today hard to acknowledge.
During my teenage years, I struggled to comprehend God as “Heavenly Father” because of some things in my personal life. The idea of a father didn’t conjure up ideas of a loving figure providing safety and wisdom. Don’t get my wrong, my father is a hard worker who provided financially for my family without complaint. He is in no way, shape, or form a bad person! However, he also is not one that I go to for advice or to share my personal victories. However, when I finally surrendered fully to God, I began to understand why he would identify himself as Abba Father, or as we might say it, Daddy. See, every earthly father, whether a deadbeat, the “best one ever” or somewhere in between, is insufficient to meet our every need. Every earthly father will fail us at some point, in some way. But not God. He is the Daddy who is always excited to talk with us. His arms are always open for me to run to for comfort and advice. (Zephaniah 3:17) He is never too busy, too tired, or too fill-in-the-blank. God is my Abba Father. He is the picture of unconditional love. He delights in me, his daughter! (Psalm 149:4, Galatians 3:26) As such, those lyrics, although speaking of earthly dads, is such a reminder that the more time I spend with my Heavenly Father, the more I will love like he does.
It took some time for God to give me the desire to have children. My husband, however, had wanted to be a Daddy from a very young age. He knew it was part of his future. Andy changed the first 2 or 3 of each of our kids’ diapers. He is the first one to snuggle them a little longer at bedtime or comfort them when they have nightmares. He speaks of both of his children with such a joy and delight, and beams with pride over all they do. He is a disciplinarian when necessary, but he lavishes grace and encouragement consistently. My children adore their father and I’m so grateful. Andy would be the first to tell you, he learned it from his own father. His dad broke cycles and redefined the legacy of his family and I and my kids are reaping the benefits! I see my daughter show empathy and compassion that are a direct reflection of what she sees in her earthly daddy. As she grows, I pray she also recognizes the even more amazing love of her Heavenly Father. With the love of her Abba and her Daddy she will be a force of love that is unmatched!
Wherever you are today, this Father’s Day you can find peace through Jesus. If you’re dad is incredible, tell him again all the reasons you’re grateful for him.. If you love your dad, tell him. If you don’t know your dad or struggle to love your dad, ask God to fill in those gaps and restore and redeem the brokenness. (Psalm 68:5, Psalm 51:12, Psalm 23:3) And while most of my readers are women, I’d be remiss to not acknowledge those men who are fathers of babies in heaven and the men who wish desperately to be dads but are not yet for one reason or another. You are not forgotten today; run to your Heavenly Father for comfort today. For each of us, let’s remember that only one Father is truly worthy of our admiration and praise. As we build our relationship with him, we will reflect him more and more. We will love like he does.