Proud men .......are good fathers
Just this weekend we celebrated Father's day in South Africa. In some homes this day may be viewed as a day where shops make money out of emotional buyers. In other homes, the day is ignored as the father figure is or has been absent or a "less than positive" experience. However, in many homes, the day is viewed as a chance to say "thank you" to someone that is loved and respected. I hope your experience was the latter.
Since we all have fathers or are fathers ourselves, I decided to use this opportunity to talk about and also to fathers.
Lets start with those of us who have fathers, and it seems that includes all of us. It appears to be a biological fact or requirement that we cannot be alive without having a father. What is a social fact, however, is that it seems possible to go through life without the presence of a real father. It is possible, but is not the preferred situation as it was not intended to be this way. Fathers were not supposed to leave their children, abandon them or hurt them, but were supposed to lead their families, teach their children and equip them to handle life, to love them, support them, protect them.
What kind of father did or do you have?
If you had the kind of father that gave love and support and protection, be very thankful and make sure you tell him that he did well and that you appreciate him and what he has done in your life.
If you had or have a father that hurt, damaged and abused you or was just completely absent, I am sorry. This is not the way it should be for any child (or man). In your case, I am asking you a huge thing today.......
Forgive him for being a poor or absent father!
Why ? Because if you do not, you will not be able to be the father you should be to your son. When you are harbouring bad feelings towards your own father, it will at some point come out in your dealings with your own son and affect that relationship. Maybe you have experienced that already? The only way to break this and to make sure that this wound is healed, is to make peace with your father, to forgive him.
If he is available and you have contact with him, go and initiate this forgiveness. Even if he does not accept it, still do it. Its all about building your future relationship with your son, and you, as the father, must take responsibility for this relationship.
If he is not around or available or you are not in a position to approach him, I want to offer my assistance. And I am not doing this lightly. You will remember that in one of the previous blogs we discussed "standing-in-the-gap" and how important that is that we stand in the place of others who refuse to or cannot do so.
I today, offer to stand in the gap created by your absent or abusive father, where he SHOULD have been, and ask your forgiveness for being a poor dad. I want to say to you right now : "My Son, I was not what I was supposed to be. I hurt you when I should have comforted you. I damaged you when I should have built you up. I was absent when I should have been there for you. I am sorry. Please forgive me!".
I wish you would take me up on this and accept this apology as if it was offered by your own father !
You see, if you do accept my apology in the name of your farther and forgive him (even in his absence), YOUR life will be different as from today. That is what forgiveness does. It allows you to get out of the prison created by the emotions caused by another person who does not live inside this same prison. (Please go and read the blog on forgiveness if this is difficult to understand).
When you have forgiven him, stand up, be a proud man and a proud father and go and be the best father you can, the one you were intended to be...... to your son.
Now, to those who currently are fathers.
This is a privilege we do not consider often enough. What other position can you fill in life where someone else thinks so much of you. Where they view you as the best thing since sliced bread, the strongest of all men, the most clever person around. How you, as their father, treat them and what you do for them will determine how long it will take them to realise that there are actually other stronger, more clever people around than THEIR Dad. However, the kind of father you are will also determine how they will feel about you even after they realised this. If you are a good father, they will view you as not just a man, but THEIR FATHER. Not the strongest, but strong enough to carry and protect them when they need you. Not the most clever, but clever enough to teach them about life and how to handle it. This is the kind of father you want to be. What you want to hear from them is "Dad, you are the greatest dad is the whole world" even though you both know that it is probably not quite accurate. But it IS what they feel and it IS how they see you.
The returns you will receive on being a good father include hearing the words on Cards they give you on Father's Day and their just loving it to be with you. This return outperforms any other earthly investment you can ever make.
How to be a good father?
When God showed Himself as a father figure in the Bible, His intention was that we as earthly fathers would emulate Him. It is important to know that He shows us how men should be to call themselves good fathers.
The reference in Scripture is simple: Go and read the Bible. It is full of God showing us how to be a Father, because He is:
one that protects, provides, shields, builds up, saves, forgives...............
one that is faithful, is supportive, longs for you to see the attention He gives you, cannot wait for you to talk to Him..........
one that wishes you would ask Him for help so He can give it, who sacrificed all for your sake, never leaves you, leads to in your life to fulfil your promise.........
one that gives you talents and a personality that is like your fingerprints, absolutely unique.......
and so I can go on.
But rather go and learn this from Him yourself. Go and read the Book of Love our Father has compiled for us and emulate Him.
To my Heavenly Father, I wish to say the following:
I honour You on this Father's Day and every other day for my life. Thank You for for being there for me, that You accepted me just as I am, that You love me more than anybody else does, that You were willing to sacrifice Your Son Jesus so that I can also become Your Child, that You see potential in me and overlook my shortcomings, that Your dreams over me is huge, that You consider me worthy of being Your Son's bride, that You are right now preparing a room in Your home to make place for me, that You gave me special talents and gifts that nobody else has, that You chose me out of billions of people to believe in You, that You have already won the fight against death for me so I do not have to fear, that You give me my daily bread and power to carry on with each day.........
I can go on to sing the praises of the most awesome Father for a long time, but I close by quoting Matthew 7:11
"If you (human fathers) who is sinful by nature, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father (the perfect father) who is in heaven give what is good and advantageous to those who keep asking Him".
Now go proud man and be a proud father !