I don’t expect to be a perfect father, but I do want to be a good one. I have searched the scriptures for commands directed to fathers. I have also read accounts of dads in the Bible and how they impacted the lives of their children. Abraham had tremendous faith, but didn’t do a good job of protecting his wife. Isaac was a steady obedient son, but played favorites with his twin boys. Samuel was a stellar prophet, but didn’t do well raising his sons. David was an outstanding king, warrior, and worshiper, but his unfaithfulness had awful repercussions in his family. Each of these dads had strengths and weaknesses. They did some things really well, and they made mistakes.
You have probably come to the same conclusion as I have, that the only perfect father in scripture is God the Father. The relationship He shared with Jesus was amazing and I wish I was able to observe more of their interaction so I could be a better dad to my four sons.
I have been studying dads in the Bible because I am in the middle of recording a podcast series on the “Influence of a Father.” As I have sought to learn more about my Heavenly Father, the Spirit reminded me that if I see the Son, I will see the Father. For the Son, is the Father in the flesh.
Consider this discussion between Jesus, Thomas, and Philip:
“Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’
Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.’” (John 14:5-11)
If I want to be a better dad, I need look no further than the Son. For the more I learn about the person of Jesus, the more I will observe character qualities of the Father. I used to mistakenly think that Jesus was a kinder, gentler, and more improved version of God the Father. But as Jesus declared, “The Father and I are one.” (John 10:30)
I have a renewed desire to know more about Jesus the Son. As I have focused my attention on Jesus, I am learning practical tips to help be be a better father. For example: Jesus came to serve and not to be served. Since He loved us by serving us, I can love my family by serving my wife and children.
Jesus laid His life down for us. I can follow His example by denying myself and dying daily for my family. Jesus prayed for us while on earth, and is praying for us now in heaven. I am seeking to emulate the Savior by praying for my family daily just as Jesus does. Jesus bears our burdens. I can carry the burdens of my family with them. Jesus is meek and lowly of heart. With His help, I am choosing to be humble in my home and in my daily dealings with my family.
Jesus told His disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” Then a few verses later he added, “As I have loved you, love one another.” (John 15:9, 12) On this Father’s Day weekend, I want to know more about God the Father, by seeing Jesus the Son. And with the help of His Faithful Spirit, love my family as I have been loved by my Savior.
If you want to hear the series on the Influence of a Father, you can listen to them online here or by subscribing for free on iTunes or GooglePlay. The first one will be posted next week and is number 169.
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