II Timothy 2:15
"Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth."
The Single Page
What makes a Good Father?
With today being Father's Day, I thought I would pass my thoughts on regarding what makes a good father. This is obviously a slimmed down version with emphasis on one key quality, but apart from this quality I don't think the other's really have the same impact. Before I begin, let me give just a brief word of caution for those who want some ammunition to pass judgment or for those who are looking for just one more piece of criticism to add to their bag full of self-pity. That word is grace. What I am about to present is what I consider the ideal. Unfortunately we live in a broken world, not an ideal one. Please keep this word in mind as we go forward.
In Luke 15 we come across the familiar story of the Prodigal Son. The title does this story dis-service because it is really about two sons, not just one. This story is so rich with meaning yet let's focus on just one quality of this father that both sons needed to hear. Here is a dad who has done everything right yet one son wants his part of the inheritance so he can blow it on selfish pursuits and the other son is living a life of frustration and angst while staying at home. The two phrases of this story that mean the most to me convey a quality of the father that I believe to be most important. Let's first take a look at the younger son when he is in the midst of his crisis and humbled to the point of self-reflection. He decides living with pigs and half starving doesn't sound as attractive as going and being a servant for his father. So he says to himself, " I will go to my Father". Notice what this wayward son does. He realizes he can go to his father with the hopes that can at least work for him. The point is he knew where his father was. He knew where to find him. He didn't have to go looking for him, because the son knew where he was, the same place his father always was. Now the second son gets a similar dose of reality. He is feeling sorry for himself, preoccupied with his own self piety, his own perceptions of self made perfection. While the older son is moping around the house his father sets him straight by saying, " you are always with me, and everything I have is yours." The father is telling the older son that he too should understand where to find him. Right where he has always been - there.
These two sons both had distorted views of their father that were not accurate yet shaped the way they lived. The point of the story is that the father never changed. He was always loving, always forgiving, always desirous to be in an intimate relationship with his sons. One ended up looking to a hedonistic life style for satisfaction and the other looked a legalistic, self-focused approach. In the end the message the father had for his two sons was he was always there for them. This is my point. The most important quality of a father is to be there for their children. To be present, to be consistent, to be stable, to be available or in other words - be there.
This Father's Day focus on the simple act of being there for your children and even more importantly live your life in the reality that your heavenly Father is the same yesterday, today and forever. He loves you, forgives you, desires to be you and you always know He is there for you.
© Todd Martin, 2012