Written by Fr. Dale Minor - Reclaim Ministry - Rutland, OH
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7) “So God created man in His image, in the image of God He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘be fruitful and multiply,’ etc.” (Gen 1:27-28a)
This past weekend we celebrated Fathers Day, a day set aside to honor and celebrate our earthly fathers. Like most fathers, I received numerous reminders of the love that exists between fathers and their children and noted through the media, print and electronic, the special and heart-warming tributes offered up by so many. While enjoying these, I was also reminded of God, the Father of us all, who not only created us, but continually demonstrates the relationship a father is to have with his children, that special bond which a good relationship celebrates and those lacking that relationship long for.
This article is far too short to quote the numerous scriptures relating to healthy father/child interaction, but as we scan through the Bible we learn that the father is to instruct, correct, teach, train, nurture, control, provide for, bless, provide spiritual guidance, to forgive, and in short, TO LOVE! Not only has God charged fathers with such responsibility, but He daily demonstrates these facets of love to us through the presence and power of his Holy Spirit. So, to extend your Fathers Day celebration, I offer these additional verses of scripture for your consideration of our heavenly Father’s constant presence and involvement in your life.
“For us, there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.” (1 Cor. 8:6)
“But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
“But now O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are the potter; and we are the work of Your hands,” (Isaiah 64:8)
These are comforting words; they speak of the love of the Father for the child and of the children for the father. But as many of us have experienced, our personal relationships sometime fail us; schisms do occur within families. Yet, even these provide opportunities for God to demonstrate one of the most powerful aspects of love. Remember the story of the prodigal son, who by his own will separated himself from his family to, as we would say, “do his own thing.” But when his “thing” failed him, he returned home thinking that he would have to beg to be allowed to stay, being willing even to work as a servant in his father’s house. But this son failed to realize a father’s deep love for his children and his capacity to forgive. “He arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20)
This is a word for all who have separated themselves from God, for whatever reason, for whatever season; once we have determined to return to Him, even while we remain a great way off, He will run to us and love us and forgive us. He is our loving Father who will never leave us nor forsake us.
“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself bears witness that we are children of God,…” (Rom. 8:15)
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)