God the Father

Fatherhood is a wonderful blessing and a source of great joy. It is a special privilege to take the lead in providing for children and bearing the burden of responsibility for their wellbeing, growth, and maturity. As well as being a tremendous role to fulfill, fatherhood also gives us a window into the very heart of God who is revealed to us as a Father in Heaven. Our practice and experience of fatherhood is an invitation to better understand and marvel at who God is and the relationship that we can have with him.

Through the lens of fatherhood, we see God’s heart for his children. God the Father’s very character is one of self-sacrifice as he sets aside any desire for personal wants or selfish gain, in order to pursue whatever is best for his children. The Father is content to set aside his own glory in order to exalt Christ, the Son of God, above all else. Having been adopted into his family and sharing in the life of Jesus, we too become precious in the Lord’s sight. We see his love for us in his provision and in the way he directs and disciplines us each day.

Through the lens of fatherhood, we see God’s heart for his children

However, even as we look at the Fatherhood of God, we come quickly to the realization that our experience of earthly fatherhood is but a poor reflection of that divine glory. Whether you are a father yourself, or in our universal experience of being children of earthly fathers, we will no doubt be aware of flaws, faults, and failure in those who raised us (or who struggled to do so). That is not to say that every experience of earthly fathers is only and always corrupt, but that it is inevitably tainted by the effects of sin and death, of sadness and sorrow.

The reality of those imperfect experiences should not cause us to despair. Instead, we allow the Scriptures to lift our eyes to heaven and to see there, seated on the throne, our heavenly Father. We are to enjoy our relationship with him and to know that in Him we have the hope of a Father who is always for us and who will not ever fail us. As it says in 1 John 3 – ‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!’ In God, even our experiences of fatherhood are redeemed and given new hope.

With our gaze fixed upon that heavenly throne, we see too the wonder of the church as our true family. Here, in the fellowship of believers, we are surrounded by brothers and sisters with whom we can share in deep intimacy, including with those who are spiritual fathers to us. I hope that in your Christian journey, you have had the joy of knowing older, wiser men who have loved you and helped you to walk the way of faith and discipleship. We all need men who will invest in our wellbeing, growth, and maturity.

As we give thanks for fathers today, we celebrate the good we see in our earthly fathers. We also honour the men who reflect the love, leadership, and sacrifice we see in God the Father. To all the men in our church who play a role in shepherding others to growth and maturity – Happy Father’s Day!

Associate Minister