I remember back to my earliest days of Sunday School when the subject of the day was Prayer. The question was raised by one of the other children who asked the teacher: “How do you converse with God?” The Sunday School teacher said, “As you talk with your daddy and your daddy talks to you, you talk with God.”
At five years old, I responded in return, “When I talk to my daddy, my daddy always removes both of his hearing aids, and then he stops talking to me.”
Psalm 68:5 has recently taken on a whole new meaning to me. The God of the universe–The one who created me, knitted me together in my mother’s womb, and despite all of my gravest faults and failures and also my father’s faults and failures, preserved me through my “fatherless” empty childhood–is also a true father to the fatherless! Let’s think about that for a second; I can probably think of so many other things that He could be doing, seeing that He is God and all.
But no, He’s a model dad! He’s the one who kisses every boo-boo, cradles us in the big, perfect hug that only a genuine father has and can, and always has the best stash of band-aids and words to make the pain of an empty childhood go away. It’s probably a good thing Iam not God because I highly doubt, I would take time for knowing of those simple things. But I am very thankful He does.
Psalm 68:5 Holman Christian Standard Bible
5 God in His holy dwelling is
a father of the fatherless
and a champion of widows.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
Reverend Dr. A.W. Tozer says, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us” (The Knowledge of the Holy). What we think about our heavenly Father says a whole lot about who we are.
But what if our thoughts about our heavenly Father are entangled with and stained by the abuse and abandonment of our earthly father? Anyone who has experienced the acute pain of dad walking out knows it can be all-consuming.
I have, and I know. Dad, greatly afflicted by the harsh memories of the Korean War, copious amounts of alcohol and severe hearing loss made worse by war, stole the thing I believed to be indestructible, superhuman even: my family.
But family turned out to be more fluid than I once thought . . . and hoped. Like a permanent smudge on the lens through which we see the world, the dissolution of the family distorts all that we know and all that we are. Our hearts beat out of rhythm. Our thoughts weigh heavier upon our minds. Our tears flow faster. The only voice that once calmed us in the middle of the night is suddenly silent. The picture frame that preserved our family on the wall is either gone or it is empty.
Instinctively human beings have a need of a loving and compassionate father, who will feed us when we are hungry, love us when we are lonely, and care for us when we are crying. We long for a “smiling” dad, who will listen to us when we have questions, encourage us when we are discouraged, and discipline us when we do wrong. A father who cares and also takes time with the little things, who extends wisdom when we are concerned, and who most of all prays and seeks to know, understand God’s will and direction before acting on his own.
God placed within us a desire to be loved by our father. Some fathers do well, and others do not. Some are extremely successful, and others fail miserably.
Warped by such confusion and despair, just how do we paint accurate, biblical portraits of our Father’s goodness and faithfulness? When our fathers turn off their hearing aids or remove them from their ears instead of listening to their children, we’ve a very much harder time seeing who God promises to be for us.
The Bible articulates the truth we need, but believing the Bible isn’t always so easy either. When advice seems too thin, though, and life too cruel, God’s word is the only truly reliable brush for the suffering, painting fresh strokes of God’s character onto the marred canvas of our hearts and experience.
He draws near unto, the brokenhearted and ready to care for you, his precious son or daughter. (Psalm 34:18)
Fortunately, God is the perfect model of a faithful father, and He fills the gaps left by our earthly father as we seek Him each day. Therefore, we should listen to Him and honor Him in everything that we think, say and do.
Fathers need to learn to have a relationship with God, even if they did not or do not have a relationship with their earthly father. This is fully realized through the reading, studying and understanding of the Scriptures, where a father will gain and grow in wisdom, grace and the ability to raise kids to the glory of God.
Fathers, who accept God as their #1 penultimate Father, which also have made Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior are God’s children and learn from Him and in turn, unhesitatingly, teach their children the truths and treasures of the Bible.
No one wants to suffer through the absence of a father who might walk away or remove their hearing aids from their ears at any moment. It’s agonizing riding the bus home from school wondering if dad’s truck will be in the driveway, if his clothes will still be in the closet, he will listen to you with both hearing aids.
God does not leave us in that suspense. God is deeply, unshakably committed to fathering you. You never have to ask whether he will stay or leave or listen. God himself promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). He will hear our cries, our pleas from the furthest reaches of eternity (Psalm 18:6-19).
No matter what you’ve been through with your father, if you are God’s child through faith, he promises to never pack up his suitcase and leave you peering out from the kitchen window. In the middle of your loneliness, God is 10000% right there with you (John 14:16–18). Even when your earthly dad is somewhere else, God will not forget or neglect the commitment He has made unto you.
Sadly, some fathers hinder and hurt, rather than help. They bring pain, rather than protection. As a child, even into adulthood, you may have suffered both physical and emotional pain because of your dad. Your home wasn’t a safe place for you. Instead, it was a “Roman” arena of anger, tears, fears and uncertainty.
Pray! Take hope: your Father in heaven will never hurt you like this.
He will always protect you, keeping you safe from attacks against you. His hand of protection is unmoved and never tires.
Even when he must discipline us, he introduces pain in grace and love, and for our greatest good (Proverbs 3:12).
No matter what dangers you face, God remains an unparalleled source of safety and help. He will not let danger overtake you (Isaiah 43:2–3).
He is a Father of ceaseless comfort and protection, not of terror and abuse.
In a single-parent home, provision for the family can be a daily struggle and anxiety. Meals uncertain. Clothes borrowed. Aren’t our parents supposed to provide for our basic needs? When dad is gone, and with him a major source of income, when dad stops hearing and listening to their children, we must fight to see through the fog and fight to trust that God remains faithful to provide.
His resources never end (Psalm 50:10). He loves to provide for you, because you are a great delight to him. Your most fundamental needs will always ultimately be met in your heavenly Father (Philippians 4:19), not your earthly parents.
Even when Adam and Eve, God’s very first children, disobeyed, not only did God clothe their nakedness and also cover their shame, he promised us the ultimate provision of Christ for their sin, as well as for our sin (Genesis 3:15, 21). In Jesus, the Father has not left us wanting. He promises to eventually provide an eternal home, one where his children will never be crying or wanting (John 14:1–3).
Without any love or encouragement from our dad, we can too easily question whether we are even loved at all. It’s normal to wonder how much we are worth, whether we’re a source of pleasures or problems for others.
But where our dad might be absent and silent, God has spoken. God affirms that we always and forever bring him great delight. He says, “You are precious in my eyes” (Isaiah 43:4). As His Children, we are a unique source of pleasure for him.
Rest in this: you and I are a constant delight to God, not because you, I, bring something to him, but because he loves us freely. He showers us with shouts of deliverance, love, and gladness (Zephaniah 3:17).
Questioning whether you are a delight to your dad is a real insecurity for many. It may be excruciatingly hard to believe that you are loved, but your heavenly Father does not ever leave us in doubt. If we are his, we are infinitely loved!
Those of us who have watched dad remove his hearing aids, watched dad walk away have wrestled with trying to earn our father’s love and affection. Maybe we fight for the merits of academic or athletic success. This was my hardest fight as a young son, deeply desiring the unhindered love and affection of my dad. Whatever the perceived standard may be, it’s no way to live as a child.
Thankfully, our heavenly Father’s love for us is not conditional.
He does not love us based on our successes. Instead, God loves us because he loves us. That’s who he is. Even when we’re disobedient and rebellious, his love covers us. Even when we run away from him, he patiently waits for us to come home — a Father ready to wrap his arms around you, kiss you, and shower you with forgiveness and grace (Luke 15:20–24).
As it is truly written somewhere, there is more mercy in God than sin in you.
God reached out to you in great love when you were at your worst, not your best (Romans 5:6–8).
Child of God, LIVE! Run freely into your heavenly Father’s embrace, trusting the Father’s arms to hold you because his Son’s arms were stretched out for you on the cross. He is a living hope for the defeated, abandoned and forsaken, a refuge and a haven like no other can ever be for the fearful, a Father to the fatherless.
Our earthly fathers deserve respect. Our heavenly Father deserves our respect, commands our maximum love because He is always there, totally trustworthy.
What God says, He does. God our heavenly Father, will not let us down, He knows what we need and when we need it. At times it may feel as if He is not with us, but He is. He is probably speaking but we are not listening. Or is it maybe He is silent because He wants to grow our faith and our trust in Him?
In the name of God, our Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father; …... Thomas O. Chisolm, 1923
Father may my life, my compassion and my ministry reflect your heart for those who need care and protection and love. Give me eyes to see this need more clearly and a heart to responded more certainly so that your love may be demonstrated through me. In the precious name of my Savior Jesus, I pray.
Lord, today we pray specifically for fathers and fatherhood across our land.
Your Word faithfully teaches fathers to bring up their children in the discipline, instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). God, we do thank You for the men who are leading their families according to Your statutes and the ones that are laying their lives down for Your purposes.
We pray You will continue to use these men to lead their families and other men. We pray You will strengthen the fathers of our nation and that You will continue to empower churches, organizations, and individuals to 100% invest in fathers, fatherhood for the sake of Your children. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.