One of the qualities of God is that He is a Father. I find the thought of “God as my Father” to be very overwhelming. It is much easier to think of the Creator of the universe as a Supreme Being, who is far removed and distinct from us in every way, than simply our Father. To think of God as a Father makes this Supreme Ruler suddenly so relational and intimate with us – it makes Him family. What a radical thought! And yet…it is exactly this we were made for – to be sons and daughters in the Family of God!
I have found that some people are deeply troubled by the word “father.” For them, the word “father” is one that reminds them of disappointments and unpleasant memories. This being so, they struggle to embrace God as a father, their unpleasant memories of their earthly fathers having tainted their perception of what a father really is.
I fear that the same may hold true from a “generational” perspective in the body of Christ. I know for a fact that there are many young people in the body of Christ, myself included, who have seen and experienced faults from some they considered to be their “fathers” in the church. By the way, when I say “fathers,” I am including both “mothers and fathers.” So ladies…you can chill out. :P
So let me ask you, what is our response when we find the father-figures of the body at fault? How should we respond? I will offer you a few solutions –
- Ask yourself and God if it really is them who is at fault.
- If the answer to the last point is “yes,” love ‘em.
- Protect your faith.
Whose Fault Is It Anyway?
Possibly the most important question to ask when we find “fathers” at fault is to prayerfully ask if it is really them who are at fault. Sincerely asking God and ourselves this simple question will ascertain to us our humility. As a side note, allow me to give this word of advice: always look for an opportunity to exercise humility. This is something God is challenging me to do…especially in times of disagreement and potential strife with others.
You know, you and I owe it to ourselves to respect those that have gone out before us into this thing called “life,” that we are willing to take a step back and analyze if it is possibly we, who are at fault, whenever we find ourselves butting heads with them. It’s rather embarrassing to find out that it was really your fault after you’ve said and done some things you wish you could take back. Trust me, I’ve been there!
If It’s Not Your Fault…
Chill. The fact that they messed up doesn’t give you a right to disrespect them in any way. Hold your tongue, unless you are praying for them. David, who was being hunted for death by King Saul made sure to pass up, not one, but two opportunities to kill King Saul. Why? Because David “would not put out his hand against The LORD’s anointed” (1 Samuel 26:11 ESV). I think you and I both would agree that King Saul, who was in fact David’s father-in-law, was definitely “at fault” in his pursuit of David, to say the least. And I think it is pretty safe to say that no matter how much your “fathers” may be “at fault,” they are not out to kill you! So, if David could pass up killing the failing-father that sought to kill him, you can and should pass up every opportunity that you may have to tear down the “failing-fathers” in your life! Trust me…God will honour you for that!
Plus, how does God deal with you when you mess up? He loves you. How does God deal with them when they mess up? He loves them. The bible tells us to be “imitators of God” (Eph. 5:1). Well, so what are you waiting for? LOVE THEM! There is something powerful about love. It has the power to change. Love changes people. Love makes imminent impossible situations. Love simply unleashes the supernatural over the natural because it is supernatural. It is the supernatural power of God for change. It was this love that God used to save you and I from ourselves, when we were estranged from Him because of our sinfulness. So the best thing you can do for a person that is at fault is to love him or her. It will change them!
Protect Your Faith
Possibly the biggest weapon used by the enemy to break young believers is the failure of “fathers.” It breaks my heart whenever I see people leave the church because their pastors or other father-figures failed them. This is a weapon that we, as followers of God the Father must destroy! You and I, may be following the examples of “fathers,” who have gone out before us, but ultimately we are really following God, who is not a father as they are, but THE FATHER.
This goes back to what we were talking about early on. There are many people who struggle to see God as their father, because of the wrongs done to them by their earthly fathers. But the truth is that no man can define what a father is. What any man can do is try to live up to the standard of Fatherhood that is God. God is the very definer and model of Fatherhood. So I will offer you that, if your earthly father has failed you, you can still be assured that Fatherhood is still intact, because God is still there! And guess what – He won’t fail you! The same is to be said of those who are “fathers” of our generation. They may fail us at times. But that doesn’t mean we are to give up on Fatherhood and allow our faith to be clouded by doubt. No! We instead put our eyes on God and allow Him to clear every cloud of doubt caused in us by the misrepresentation of Fatherhood. No matter what disappointments you may face in life, always be sure to keep your faith intact because The One whom you are following, The Great I Am, your Greatest Father, is always intact!
There is one thing I want to remind you of as I come to a close here – you and I are in training to be the next generation of “fathers.” Before you know it, there will be many that will be looking up to us for counsel and guidance. How we live our lives as young people today, including our dealings with the faults of our “fathers,” will determine the type of fathers we will be tomorrow. I’ll bet you that were we to adhere to just these three points of advice I have offered you, we will find ourselves bearing the fruits of a good father tomorrow!
Thanks for reading! Always remember – you are the beloved of God!