March 01, 2012

The Heart of the Father

Ephesians 6:4
"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

God is the Father who sent his Son to seek that which was lost (Luke 19:10), to redeem that which was perishing (Gal. 4:5). Sadly, we take our own personal experiences with our earthly fathers, or lack thereof, and project them unto God. Here are some examples:

1. The angry, unpredictable father instills fear in his children and teaches them that God is a tyrant who lashes out unexpectedly.

2. A critical, demanding dad makes his kids feel inadequate. They see God as a strict taskmaster who's never pleased.

3. The uninvolved or absent father sends the message that his children are unimportant, and both he and God are too busy for them, or too disengaged and distant.

4. A macho dad's tough, uncaring nature leads his children to feel unloved and conclude that the Lord doesn't love them either.

5. A fault-finding or abusive father conveys that his child is worthless and God is full of condemnation.

                                                                                 (courtesy of Dr. Charles F. Stanley)

The Christian father is really an instrument in God's hand. A father’s first responsibility is to acquaint his children with Scripture. The whole process of instruction and discipline must be that which God commands through His holy word. God's authority begins and ends with the Bible. Indeed, God's word should have ongoing contact with the mind, heart, and conscience of children. How is this possible? The human father should never present himself as the ultimate authority to determine truth and duty. It is only by making God the teacher and the authority of every facet of life, public and private, in social settings and in solitude, that He truly becomes our Father.

So, the charge for those who are fathers is to put full faith and obedience to God's word. To trust and obey. And, the admonition for those who never knew their fathers or never had a relationship with their father is this: Forgive. Yes, forgive them.

Don't carry the weight of bitterness and anger with you (see Job 21:25; Heb. 12:15). If you're a man, an angry disposition will slowly turn you into the very father you hate. If you're a woman, an unforgiving spirit will eat you up and destroy every relationship you have with men.

Yes, forgive them and remember God's love toward you through Jesus Christ his Son:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." I Peter 1:3-5

Thus, we're born again by the resurrection of Christ, who died for your sins and your father's sins. It is a living hope and will not diminish. He will keep you by His awesome power through your faith in Christ Jesus.

Oh, how marvelous! Oh, how wonderful! And my song shall ever be: Oh, how marvelous! Oh, how wonderful! Is my Savior’s love for me! And for you, too!

If you seek a relationship with God the Father, here's how! The Plan of Salvation

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