Sunday, June 18, 2017

Celebrating the Family Cornerstone

"Gather, children, to hear your father’s instruction.
    Pay close attention so you will understand..."
~ Proverbs 4:1, VOICE ~

What is it that makes a dad so remarkable? 

Good or bad, virtually everyone has a thought on their father. Some have fond, sweet sentiments towards their dad. Others have horrible emotions from abuse, alcoholism, or infidelity related to their fathers. Even if a dad has never been in the picture, his absence is felt. Men truly don't realize the emotional impact they have on a family.

And THAT is what makes a dad so very noteworthy.

Dad is the family cornerstone. As Dad goes, so goes the family.
One only needs to look to the Bible to see how essential fathers have been and continue to be since the dawn of humanity:
  • The self-revealing God gives us the image of "Father" to foster relationship with Him. He could pick any mind picture to establish His role in each of our lives, but He chose that image of Father. Not boss. Not oppressor. Loving Father. This image sets the standard for all human fathers in this world.
  • The word "father" is used over 1,000 times in the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. It is safe to assume that the family patriarch plays a pretty critical role in the world if God speaks about him this frequently.
  • A father is a portrayed as a provider in the Bible. Perhaps this is why a man's self-worth seems hardwired to his role as a breadwinner. The weight of this responsibility is often so onerous for a dad that he loses sleep or becomes emotionally vacant over it. Insurance woes and relentless medical bills only add to the heaviness and concern. What a gift of stability a dad gives to his family when he reports for work each day!
  • Dads are the family protector. "Shelter," "refuge," "shield," and "strong tower" are all words used in Scripture to describe God's protection. Those same words are an apt description for our earthly fathers as well. No one scares away the Boogey Man, squashes a hairy spider, or comforts during life's most frightening moments quite like Dad. 
  • Discipline is another gift a father gives to the children he loves. Dad knows that this will shape the character of his offspring preparing them for competency in adulthood. Again, God models this parenting skill with setting boundaries, redirecting behavior, and imparting insights. This takes an extra measure of patience when a child is on the autism spectrum or has behavioral challenges.
  • A father's love is distinctive from a mother's. In addition to the other characteristics named above, a dad's love is expressed in pleading on behalf of his child and in a quiet, intimate pride. The Gospel of John beautifully illustrates this love between Jesus and God the Father. 
Strength, wisdom, and loving care are all hallmarks of our family cornerstone. And even if he falls short, Dad deserves our respect. 

Big applause, today, for the man who has big demands and high expectations placed on his life. Please know that you have a matchless role model in your Heavenly Father, and you are so very loved by the family who has been entrusted to your care.

Pray with me...

Heavenly Father, I give thanks for You and Your role in my life. I also ask you to bless these remarkable dads who are raising exceptional children today. Grant them an extra measure of rest and encouragement. And help each father to depend on You because we are depending on them!

No comments:

Post a Comment