16th June 2019

Father’s Day

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms round him and kissed him.”
Luke 15:20 (NIVUK)

Father’s Day is a celebration honouring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society.

Unfortunately some see fathers as little more than breadwinners and there is an increasing trend in the West to belittle and marginalise fathers. Yet studies by paediatricians have shown that fathers, like mothers, are pillars in the development of a child’s emotional well-being and they help shape him or her into the person they become. Children look to their fathers to lay down the rules and uphold them. As the Bible says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Although this scripture shows that they can also have a negative psychological impact, fathers can provide positive feelings of security, both physical and emotional and when they are affectionate and supportive it greatly affects a child’s social development. The apostle Paul wrote, “Love is patient, love is kind…It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1Corinthians 13:4, 7).

Oscar Wilde made an interesting observation: Children start out loving their parents, but as they grow older and discover their parents are human, they become judgmental. Sometimes, when they mature, they forgive their parents, especially when they discover they too are also human. With maturity comes an understanding that fathers are not perfect. To be a parent is at times difficult, it often requires wisdom, experience, sacrifice and unconditional love. Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad. Father’s day is intended to honour that special person.

Not all fathers are like the one portrayed in the opening scripture. Some have never known their fathers and others have had a negative experience of fatherhood which can influence the way they think of God as Father. God is someone special, he is not only a father but dad; he is Abba, Father (Galatians 4:6). He is the dad that says, “‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). The paediatrician Dr Meg Meeker states that there are three fundamental questions children ask of their fathers: ‘What do you think about me?’ ‘How do you feel about me?’ ‘What are your hopes for me?’ Our spiritual Dad gives positive answers to those questions: He says ‘I think you are worth dying for, I feel eternal love for you and my hope is for you to accept eternal life with me in my kingdom.’ Some may not be able to fully appreciate their earthly father but we can all honour our Heavenly Father.

Prayer
Father, help us to appreciate the good things of fatherhood and we thank you for your unconditional fatherly love for us.
Amen

Study by Eddie Marsh
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About the Author:
Eddie Marsh attends Grace Communion International in Sheffield.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Sheffield
The Source Training & Conference Centre
300 Meadowhall Way
Sheffield
S9 1EA

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Email: sheffield@gracecom.org.uk

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