The Father

Sylvia Stewart

Young ladies may smile fondly when they remember their fathers. Grown women sometimes weep when their fathers are laid to rest, even though they've been away from home for years. The bond between a father and his daughter is strong.

A father is a "priest" in his home, representing God to his family. He is also their "mediator" in prayer. He binds his household as one before God.

However, to some women, "father" brings painful memories. Horrible scenes may haunt them. Thinking of God as a loving Father is difficult. Who could serve a God who resembled such a father? However badly our earthly fathers fail or abuse us, God will become a true Father to us.

fatheranddaughtersittingA true father loves his children.

He tells his friends about their good characteristics and proudly shows their pictures. Some fathers' passion may be expressed in a wrong way, but John 3:16 tells us that God's love never is. "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (NIV). He loves us more than any earthly father ever could.

Jesus loves us, too. His love is shown through His death for us on the cross (Galatians 1:4; John 15:13). He wants each of us to live joyously, not only in this life, but also forever with Him in heaven.

A father provides for his children.

God promises to meet the needs of His children (Philippians 1:19; 4:19; Matthew 6:25–33). We never need to worry about where our food or clothing will come from when we honor God with all our hearts. We may not have plenty and many of our "wants," but He will provide our basic needs, just as He provided for Elijah (1 Kings 17:6; Psalm 132:15).

A father protects his children.

He protects them because he loves them. He cares for their health and provides for them, putting their needs above his own. Our Heavenly Father protects us by His power.

David, even while he fled from King Saul, who wanted to kill him, claimed God as his protector. He wrote in Psalm 32:7, "You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble" (NIV).David claimed God as his protector

Jesus prayed for God's protection over His disciples (John 17:11–13). Knowing that He would soon die for the sins of the world, He claimed His Father's protection for the remaining eleven disciples. Our Heavenly Parent places the priority on our spiritual safety, rather than our physical well-being (John 17:15–21).

A father keeps his promises.

He should not promise what he will not or cannot do. We expect a father to keep his word. Peter writes, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise" (2 Peter 3:9, NIV). What He says, He will do.

David cried out to his Father, "Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me" (Psalm 27:9–10, NIV). The King James Version phrases it, "The Lord will take me up." God will carry us just as a loving father would carry his weary or injured child. Our earthly fathers may fail us, but when we commit ourselves into the hands of God, He will hold us securely in His arms. Our Father can meet all our physical and emotional needs.