As I walked down the aisle at a big box store, I heard the unmistakable sound of ‘toddler talk’ behind me. Then I heard, “Ahh, you want some daddy love? Daddy loves you too”. I could not resist a quick look at the two who had this sweet conversation about five feet behind me. Sure enough, a very healthy little boy was there in the cart his dad was pushing…BIG- muscular dad. Covered in black tattoos with classic bad guy appearance–he was definitely someone you might be wary of– but with the sweetest expression on his face. He looked like a fighter, but he was definitely a lover where that little boy was concerned. My heart rejoiced, and yes, I prayed for them.
Even a cursory study of the Word reveals that fathers are a big deal. The fact that God explains himself as a father to his people, and expresses a father’s love toward his creation, should be enough to keep us from dismissing a father’s importance. Heritage, protection, strength, courage, direction, and influence are a part of fatherhood, whether the father is involved in the lives of his children or not. My husband has shared these classic words in a Christmas or New Year’s devotion since our children were small; “Remember who you are and whose you are”.
Sadly, the enemy has turned the family upside down, as he has distorted every other good thing God has given us. We realized early on in our ministry that referring to God as our Father was not always a helpful comparison. Dishonorable heritage; children with no protection, weakness and addictions, anger instead of courage, misdirection, and evil influence are almost a normal depiction in our media, and are too often the reality behind closed doors.
Our Father in heaven knows all this, and He has already taken the appropriate action to turn the course of culture. Some may have to walk a rocky path, but even in that, they will not be alone. God has not abandoned fathers, the fatherless, nor the families who have ‘lesser’ fathers. He is with them, and through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection God has shown us the way to a happy ending. Every person who seeks Him can receive the protection, strength, courage, direction, and influence of the Holy Spirit when they make Him Lord of their lives.
The story is told of the little boy who is playing with his truck in the yard. Some bullies came along and started to taunt him. When they ramped up their attack and threw rocks at him, a big man stood up from pruning the bushes right behind the boy. When they saw the big man with a frown, staring at them, the bullies ran way in fear.
“You okay son?” said the dad.
“Yes Daddy, cause I knew you were there” he replied.
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13.