All too often we hear of boys leaving a string of impregnated girls with no intent of providing anything either material or emotional for their offspring. We hear of men who find greener grass and move on leaving their children behind, too often feeling rejected along with their mothers. We hear of men too busy in the workplace to spend the quality time with their children. We hear of men who leave all that stuff to mum because that’s her job. We also hear of men desperate to be involved in their children’s lives and cut out by circumstances beyond their control. We live in times when having a mother and a father is becoming the exception rather than the norm. Or at least that is what is presented to us by the media. Maybe we shrug and say that’s just the way of the world, shake our heads and move on. Or maybe we weep and pray because children need their parents to love and nurture them. Maybe we look and pray harder because we see a spiritual force at work.
Our worship leader introduced a new song to us recently: Good, Good Father. The lyrics are on the video I linked there, check them out. But the chorus says:
You’re a good, good Father.
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are.
And I’m loved by You.
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am.
Do you see that? We get our identity from God.
Who is He? He is my Father.
Who am I? I am loved by Him, I am His child.
I wonder if it doesn’t say directly ‘I am His child’, because too many are not loved by their parents. What a world where children are not loved, are discarded, are treated as accessories, as impediments to success, as distractions and inconveniences, or as trophies to be paraded and put under immense pressure to succeed so a parent can boast or even live through them.
God has not abandoned us, He is not an absentee Father who forgot the world, went off doing something else while we got on with it. We don’t have to flail around making the best of things, or do it alone. He is perfect in all of His ways. He is the perfect Father providing, teaching, leading, guiding, nurturing and loving. We need to see the word father in terms of who He is not in terms of our physical fathers, no matter how good or bad they were. I said earlier we weep because we see a spiritual force at work trying to mar the image of fatherhood, trying to break the relationship between parent and child. If we don’t know a father then accepting He loves us as a Father becomes a lot harder. If being a child is not a blessing then being God’s child is inconceivable.
Jesus taught us to call God Father. It is who He is. Let’s celebrate that today.