Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Matt 6:9b KJV
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. Gal 4:6-7 NIV
This past month I had the privilege of leading two weeklong men’s mountain trips with groups primarily comprised of fathers and sons. It was such a joy watching fathers encourage and champion their sons, as well as young men honor and lift up their dads. At the end of both weeks we asked the men to affirm one another and the energy flowing between fathers and sons was electric. It was incredibly faith affirming to watch dads bless their sons and sons edify their dads. I was personally touched and challenged by the example of many of the dads in their patience and incredibly loving attitude toward their sons. Toward the end of the final week I found myself sitting on top of a 12,000 foot peak. Pondering the question; “How can I be a good father?” We live in a society today with so few examples of what it means to be a good father. For many, the idea of God as father is a difficult one because that word has such a negative context. My personal story is one of redemption in my relationship with my earthly father. My relationship with my dad is the best it’s ever been, and I’m am so thankful to the Lord for that, but we’ve had our share of hard times. Personally, I find the task of being a “good father” to be one of the most complex and fearful roles in my life. I so desperately want to accurately reflect the heart of my heavenly father to my earthly children.
As I sat on top of that majestic mountain and looked out at the verdant green landscape spread out before me, I heard the whisper of the one who created it, “I made this, do you like it? I made you. I love you! You are my son, let me be your father.”
What an incredible assurance in a world full of uncertainty and confusion, that we have a perfect heavenly Father who loves and calls us out by His Spirit to be His sons and daughters. Knowing and pressing in close to our one true father is the key to reflecting His image to a lost and dying world, starting with our children. I am so thankful that He has not abandoned us in that endeavor, but He is lovingly present, guiding us all the way.
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