Safe in My Father’s Arms...
Isn’t that what every girl (and guy) wants, to feel safe, accepted, known, and valued by their Daddy? No matter how old we get, there is that tug in our hearts to have our Dad’s love and acceptance. A girl desires to be seen as a princess and a guy to see that look of pride in his Dad’s eyes.
So many people who come into my office have never received that love and acceptance from their earthly fathers, or perhaps they received a tainted version of it: “I will love if”… you behave; make me happy; do what I expect you to do. So many times the love of fathers has strings attached and even well-meaning fathers make mistakes.
The love we receive from our earthly father tends to affect our view of our Heavenly Father. For example, if we have an authoritative, emotionally detached father, we tend to expect God to be that way too and view Him as distant and uninterested in our lives. We imagine Him as a dad with high expectations who will be mad or withholding if we don’t live up to his wishes. On the other hand, if we have an overindulgent, enabling father, we might think of God as one who will give us what we want when we want it, and feel mad or disappointed when that doesn’t happen.
You get the picture. It’s hard to relax and receive our Heavenly Father’s love when we have misconceptions of His true character.
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him….”
Psalm 103:13 (NIV)
As we celebrate Father’s Day this year, we celebrate our human dads who are even at their best “perfectly imperfect.” Both the good and bad experiences shared with them have shaped us and formed us into who we are today. We can celebrate this and be thankful for that impact. We also celebrate our Heavenly Father who handpicked us and equipped us with gifts, talents, and desires to be used here on earth for our good and His glory. His love for us is perfect; we can choose to count on that and allow our human fathers the gift of being who they are without demands to meet our needs. Our perfect Heavenly Father adopted us, knows us, and enables us to love and be loved. Let’s not take any of it for granted.
“I instruct you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.” Proverbs 4:11-13 (NIV)
“He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers….” Malachi 4:6 (NIV)
Let’s bless and celebrate our earthly fathers and our Heavenly Father this weekend, together we have all we need! Happy Father's Day!