Father’s Day Word on the Week 20th June 2020.
As the culture continues to slip away from the bedrock of Biblical Marriage the role of Father increasingly is seen by some to be redundant. We had better cherish what remains of it and celebrate this imported day from the United States of America.
We get plenty of news of bad fathers. Sadly, this abhorrent behaviour gets much media attention. As we come out of Covid-19 lockdown, cases of domestic abuse surface. These show fathers’ in the worst possible light. The home which should be a place of safety and love becomes a very dark place.
In response society can only lock up the perpetuator in a damage limitation exercise. There are few remedies for those traumatised outside the Christian Gospel where through faith in Jesus the person becomes a new creation and the old life is replaced by the new (2 Corinthians Chapter 5 verse 17).
Jesus paints a different picture of the heavenly Father. In the parable of the prodigal son the father’s love is unwavering irrespective of the scurrilous treatment meted out to him by his son. Relationships must be maintained irrespective of the horrendous behaviour. Hurts are absorbed by God’s grace and forgiveness flows (St Luke Chapter 15 verses 11 to 32).
There are few men in the Bible that model godly manhood better than Boaz. His care for Ruth the Moabitess both when she was an immigrant and later when they married was exemplary (Ruth Chapters 2 to 4).
The Apostle Paul values marriage as highly as Christ’s relationship with His church. Just as Christ died for the church so the husband is to love his wife as much as his own life and be prepared to sacrifice it for her welfare (Ephesians Chapter 5 verses 28 to 31).
In scripture there are many names for God. Each brings out a characteristic of his being. When Jesus was teaching prayer he introduced the ultimate relationship name of ‘Abba’ which translates as Father. St Mark tells us that Jesus used ‘Abba’ in his Gethsemane prayer as he prepared himself for the cross where he was to bear the sin of the redeemed (St Mark Chapter 14 verse 36 and Titus 2 verses 11 to 14).
We are told that if we are Christ’s and by the Spirit we root out sin we are sons and daughters of God and can genuinely call him Abba (Romans Chapter 8 verses 13 to 17). If we who are earthly fathers can call our heavenly Father, Abba we should strive to reflect something of his qualities in all our family relationships.
Happy and holy Father’s Day!