By Gloria Wessner
‘Fatherhood’ is a term in our society that is not heard of as often in our time. There was a time when fatherhood was as respected (if not more respected) than motherhood. It is becoming more of a lost art, and something that does not appear to have as much significance as it once did. Caring and loving fathers are just as important today as they ever were – probably even more.
With many individuals growing up or already grown up in families without the original mother/father relationship, or a stable long term mother/stepfather relationship; many persons have only an idea of what that means, then they in turn have families and may not be as well equipped to do a good job of fathering their own children.
The definition of fatherhood is given as ‘the state or responsibility of being a father’ and ‘the qualities or spirit of a father.’
Our ultimate example for fatherhood is God. His Word refers to him being a ‘father’ or ‘our father’ scores of times. The best example of this in his Word is when he sent his only son Jesus, whom he loved, to be born here on earth, grew up and looked after people’s needs, suffered painfully and unjustly, died a most cruel death, and then came back to life again. Only someone who loves his creation (us!) as much as he does would allow his only Son to go through what He did.
“But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” (Galatians 4: 4-7 NLT)
What value God the Father has placed on us! He has done His part by sending His son Jesus with all that happened to him as mentioned above, that puts the responsibility then on us to do our part. That requires us responding to his message of love. It’s a deliberate choice we make. If we choose not to make that choice, than we lose the chance to be able to call God ‘father.’ That is something kept for those who choose and ask Jesus to come into their lives to forgive their wrongdoings (God’s word calls this sin) and then let him be in charge – that is, I choose to let him live His life through me because I see the depth of his love for me and I’m responding to that with my trust in who He is and what he did for me. I am able do this because of what the piece above says: ‘God sent him to buy freedom for us…, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.’ Then it goes on to say that because we are his children we have his own Spirit in our hearts who prompts us to call out ‘Abba, Father,’ and he has made us his heirs and inheritors! Inheritors to his promises and to eternal life with him in heaven forever!
“Father to the fatherless, …” 1 This is particularly encouraging to those who have not had a father or one they can look up to. How will you respond to God’s offer of being your heavenly father?
Readers are invited to write Gloria at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
¹ Psalm 68:5a NLT