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The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13 (NLT)

One of the reasons we, as parents, can at times become exasperated with our children is that we fear they will make the same harmful decisions we made when we were young. It’s as if, as we are growing up, there is this voice inside of us saying, “My kid will never do this!” We enter adult life with all sorts of dreams about what we can  become.  Before long we find ourselves as parents and realize it’s too late to make those dreams on our own. To compensate for our own shortcomings we resolve that our children will not travel down the same detour in life. They will have a better life.

The Psalmist likens God to a loving father who is tender and compassionate. When we read that comparison we may see an image in our mind of a father holding an infant or walking hand in hand with a child down a quiet, softly lit forest path while flowers bloom and birds sing cheerfully in the trees. Then reality sets in and we come back to consciousness just as our teenager enters the house and announces he wrecked the car!

It’s humbling to realize that our reaction to this event is what shows our child what God is like. When we hear the statement “God is like our father.” What images come to mind? Do you see love and compassion or anger and coldness? When you think of God as your father, how does he talk to you? Does he talk with sarcasm and criticism or acceptance and encouragement?

It’s not surprising in our society that people have a misconception of what God is like.  We are all wired to see our fathers as reflections of what God is like. The unfortunate fact is that fathers are human. No one, not even Jesus Christ, had a father that was perfect in every way. As a result we can see God the way our fathers were, sometimes angry, aloof, insensitive, selfish, and apathetic or the like.

  • Earthly fathers may fail us, but your Heavenly Father NEVER WILL;
  • Earthly fathers may leave us, but your Heavenly Father promises to always be with you;
  • Earthly fathers break promises, but your Heavenly Father always does what He says He’ll do;
  • Earthly fathers may become preoccupied, but your Heavenly Father always has you at the center of his attention;
  • Earthly fathers may be disappointed in us; your Heavenly Father is always proud of who you are, even when you fail!
  • Earthly fathers may become angry with us, your Heavenly Fathers anger is reserved for the actions of sin and the enemy of our souls;
  • Earthy father’s may cheat, your Heavenly Father remains faithful to what is right.
  • Earthly fathers may forget, your Heavenly Father never forgets you. He doesn’t forget birthdays or ball games or special event of your life.
  • Earthly fathers may put work ahead of you, your Heavenly Father always has you in first place in His mind.

If you are struggling today with the wounds left by an earthly father who left you scarred emotionally or physically please realize your Heavenly Father longs to show you a true and loving relationship through His son Jesus christ. If you read the list above and realize how wonderful your earthly father really is thank God (and your dad) for being the man that he is.

PRAYER: Father God, I confess to you that I say you are my ‘Father’ way to flippantly without realizing what that really means. I thank you for who you are as my Heavenly Father and for always being there to lift me up, encourage me, guide me and forgive me. I pray you would help me to be a parent and child that shows others how loving you are. Amen.

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