What you will read--
- God is our heavenly Father.
- God has given us earthy fathers.
- A good father is a tremendous blessing.
- Good earthy fathers are decreasing in numbers.
- A remembrance and a memorial
*** PREFACE ***
God is our Father. God made us physically and--for those who are saved--God begat us spiritually.
We also have earthy fathers. We came out of their loins.
I would ordinarily start out an article like this with the earthy (see 1 Corinthians 15:47-49), but the earthy "fatherly father" is a disappearing breed in the land--and after I wrote this article the first time, it did not leave room for the fact that even if the earthy fatherly father disappears from the earth, we can still learn about a good Father by living under our God and looking at our God himself as he has revealed himself and his care in his amazing word and in our lives.
*** GOD IS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. ***
The God who made us speaks to us in his word (the Authorized Version of 1611 of the Bible) as a Father to his children. He made our physical bodies (reference Genesis 1:26-28) and begat us spiritually with the word of truth (reference James 1:18) when we believed on the name of his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We became his children by the spirit of adoption (see Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5).
God the Father loves us, provides for us, teaches us, protects us, shelters us, feeds us in his word and feeds us in the field, guides us, reproves us, corrects us, and comforts us. God has laid up great goodness for them that fear him.Psalm 31:19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvelous kindness in a strong city.
God is a Father to the fatherless, a judge to the widow, and the helper of him that hath no helper. He is there for all them that put their trust in him--whether they be high or low, young or old.
God is good to his people and pours out on them mercies and blessings, day after day. When they read his holy word, the Bible, they sup on his divine laws, precepts, and commands. When they pray, God gives them strength and power for the day. And as they seek to keep God's word, their senses are exercised to discern both good and evil. As the days go by, a remarkable process occurs--their studies and their exercises in the word of God build up into a solid framework inside of them...just as surely as the terrible crystal forms. What was once desolate is now upright and strong.
Everything that God's children need to direct them, they find in the word of God--even the most practical wisdom on how to conduct themselves as they walk through this life, e.g., the precepts found in the book of Proverbs.
*** GOD HAS GIVEN US EARTHY FATHERS ***
We also have earthy fathers--men who beget children and are supposed to take care of them.
*** A GOOD FATHER IS A TREMENDOUS BLESSING ***
Many natural things, like earthy fathers, are pictures of great spiritual realities. A good father on this earth is a very great blessing to his children; and God, our heavenly Father, is the greatest of blessings to his children--he himself is our shield and our exceeding great reward.
*** GOOD EARTHY FATHERS ARE DECREASING IN NUMBERS ***
As a result of America's departure from the word of God, many people in the United States today do not have a good and lawful father in their home--a fatherly father, a man who
- is married to his wife by whom he has children
- has natural affection and protective instinct toward his family; and,
- is a caring, providing, capable father.
Many Americans have not experienced this man (a bedrock of society, indeed). Through the reception of perverse messages (television, school system, etc.), American men have been denatured and weakened and our males are not growing up to be good fathers. The family unit has disintegrated at every level. Americans are left with precious few living examples of fatherly fathers--and their numbers are dwindling. Their ways, their leadership, their love, their patience, and their multitudinous talents are disappearing. These are the real kind of fatherly fathers--capable men that lead, care for, support, and protect their houses. As the people continue to be deceived by the lying promise that there can actually be a life in sin (a good life while someone is breaking God's commandments), the situation will deteriorate more and more with each generation of fathers weakening as the enemy unmans and denatures the people of our nation. In these final days, the enemy and his agents are aggressively attempting to blur the picture of what a father is. May the people of God be awakened as to what has happened, and may the tide turn amongst us. In God's word, we can find examples of strong, loving, and capable fathers--both earthy fathers and spiritual fathers like the apostle Paul. We can set our sights on being like the good examples that we find in the Bible, and, step by step, make actual changes in our lives that we might be better and more capable people.
*** A REMEMBRANCE AND A MEMORIAL ***
Some of us may have grown up in a heathen home, but we had a fatherly father, the kind of father with natural affection. Might a remembrance of this man's presence help to serve at such a time as this?
...Some people have had the kind of father that married a woman of his choice. He worked and provided her a home and comfort. Soon after, the children began to come. He carried them on his shoulders and they were his pride and joy. He bought them gifts and books and told them stories about his younger days. He sat down at the head of the dinner table and shared home cooked meals with his family. He took his family to the beach, carried the cooler to the pavilion, and grilled the food that his wife had seasoned (as the children ran around until the time for feasting). He clothed his family and kept them cool in summer and warm in winter. When he had to go away from home and could not take his family, he would tell his young son, "You are the man of the house while I am gone." He took his family on trips and family outings in the car that he had purchased. With Father, even a trip to the store was significant--you never knew what you might get, perhaps some interesting trinket and maybe even an ice cream cone, too. Father was always available and there was always an answer for everything that might come up. Father was there for his family--and he stayed there. He provided an environment for his family and he himself crowned it--he was the head, the needed one, always on the job providing the basic necessities of life. Being guide, protector, counselor, supporter (and more) was so natural for him--and living securely and safely within his house and under his headship was natural for us. Family life just was. Father was always Father, whether in uniform or relaxed in an easy chair in his later years. He had time for us. He had a smile for us. He was deliberate and thoughtful. He was stronger than we were and would take care of the needful things that we could not do, even if it was only opening the top of a jar. We freely pursued our interests with no concern about house payments and bills because Father was on the job providing and protecting. Father was consistent, attentive, and there. He knew how to do so many things, and he could do them easily and naturally. He could efficiently make and tend to a beautiful, productive garden; build and fix; maintain and repair; engage servicemen and decide if he wanted what they offered. He saved his money and paid his bills. With Father around, it seemed like all was safe, all the time. If anything came up, he could instantly solve it, or so it seemed. The family meeting was a solemn occasion, a time for important plans, discussions, and announcements (like a new baby being on the way!).
Year in and year out, Father was there putting bread on the table and taking care of his family. He loved us and wanted to be with us and wanted the best for us. He encouraged us and rejoiced in our achievements; he corrected us for our faults. We grew up under his watchful and loving eye. We were a family--we knew it naturally and we were told it. We were bound together, safe and secure. Father was there for us and taking care of us, and, looking back at these things, we can see that that was exactly what he wanted to be.
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