A Father’s Love ~ How To Experience the Real Thing

Have you ever thought about what a father’s love really is? Do you think your father was a good dad? What if I told you that perception really didn’t matter? That despite having the worst “father experience” you still have a chance at having that great, highly valued fatherly relationship.

My Father

Some people are lucky in having a great father, or father figure, in their upbringing. I fall into this category, for which I am forever so grateful for. (Thank you, Jesus!) I’ve alluded to my own father in the past. Which reminds me that I probably need to write a bit more about him in the future. Nevertheless, I had a great, hardworking dad. Yes, he had his faults and shortcomings. Yes, I’m sure my siblings and I could come up with a few grumblings about him. Yet, I’m equally as sure we could all share many stories of his love and devotion for our family. He really was a great dad!

I also really wish everyone could have a great father in their own household while growing up. The lack thereof, simply creates some “holes” that form which can potentially result in life long effects. One of those effects is in developing an inaccurate view of God, our Creator.

Yes, it’s true. Our personal experiences with our own physical father, or father figures, indeed overshadows our view of God. It’s a parallel our mind creates. A type of word association, if you will.

Then there are the weird or incorrect teachings of the Bible that also give us a “wrong” view of who God really is. When it comes to God’s children, everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah, He is not the fire breathing tormentor some purport Him to be. That is who He is to His enemies, not His children.

Examples of an Awesome Father

Father helping child walk
Photo by Peter Dlhy on Unsplash

Picture this: A good father helping his child learn to walk. He sets her on her feet. Cheering for every slow, feeble step. And when she inevitably fails and falls, he swoops her up and comforts her. Then he speaks words of encouragement as he sets her back on her feet to try again. He doesn’t berate her or call her names for failing at what she is incapable of doing. No. A good father is always excited and encouraging to every tiny accomplishment their child does. Even if that accomplishment is simply learning to walk.

Father son fishing on a beach
Photo by Derek Owens on Unsplash

What about fishing?

How many times have you seen a father gather all the supplies into the vehicle; the rod, tackle box, even buying the bait are all planned and loaded up. Then he gets everything set up at the desired lake or beach. And, then the father talks encouragingly with their boy about catching his very own first fish. Awesome dad preps the pole, baits the hook, then gently maintains his hold has he hands the rod to his child. Now, Daddy helps his son cast the line into the water. And when the line snags a catch, the father again helps his son real in his “first catch”. The he proudly proclaims his son as a “natural” fisherman! That child is now pumped!

Did you catch that though? The father ultimately did all the work to catch the fish. Yet, he gave his son the experience and all the credit. And the best part of this analogy? Our God is just like that. God invites us in. Sets us up. Cheers us on. Does 90% of the work. Then gives us all the credit. And all we have to do is show up, and ask for His help. He does all the rest. How great is that?!

Those are both great analogies I’ve heard pastors share on multiply occasions, including my pastor on the regular. And the more I walk with my Heavenly Father, the more I experience that very thing. He continually sets me up for success.

The best father analogy yet is this one though.

Years ago the wording in Zephaniah 3:17 along with Exodus 14:14 and Zechariah 2:8 inspired a visceral image before me of a father holding his toddler child in his arms. He calms her fears, wipes her tears, and fiercely protects her from any real or perceived attackers. He laughs with her, and sings over her until all her fears are gone. THAT is the relationship I have with my Lord.

And anytime I am distressed and cry out to Him, I am immediately swept into that image. It is in those distressing times that I become that frightened child being comforted by her loving father. (Of course, nowadays while I’m there I plead for strategies to withstand the forces that previously sent me running to Him in the first place. And He always provides the wisdom and insights I ask for).

So, you see, it doesn’t really matter if you have a good father now, or as a child growing up. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is willing to be that amazing father for you. It is possible. It can be yours simply for the asking.

So, go ahead. Ask. I dare you!


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