By Lisa Karon Richardson
Modern society has given fathers a bad rap. Fatherhood has been undermined as a valid role for a generation or more with men being portrayed as dim-witted and lazy in much need of guidance from their long-suffering wives. Of course this mindset has become so accepted that it is the norm.
It’s a shame because fathers play a vital role in raising children who are emotionally and mentally well-rounded. I was blessed to have an amazing father who lived out his Christianity. His example has guided me. My husband is also a great father to our children.
But what of those who may not have been blessed in that way.
Studies have shown that when the “unchurched” are asked to describe God, people most often ascribe to Him attributes of their own fathers. That’s all well and good if you had a good father, but how does that work for those who had an abusive dad, or whose only experience with a dad is television portrayals?
How does one move from the formal acknowledgment of a father to running into the arms of our Abba Daddy?
I wish I had more answers on that score.
All I know is that the Word invites us to taste and see that the Lord is good. The more we experience relationship with Him, the more we discover for ourselves what He is all about. He calls himself Comforter, Counselor, and Advocate. I can attest that He is all those and much much more.
If you know God as your Abba, I hope you will take time to tell him how much you appreciate him today. If you don't know HIm that well, I hope you will draw closer to him. I guarantee he is ready and waiting to draw you into relationship. And he won't let you down.
Being a Daddy is hard work, and they don’t get nearly enough credit. My hat’s off to all the dads who love and support their families. You are heroes.
What is your fondest memory of your father? If you didn’t have a great earthly dad, do you think that every colored your perception of God?
Influenced by books like The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, Lisa Karon Richardson’s early books were heavy on boarding schools and creepy houses. Now that she’s (mostly) all grown-up she still loves a healthy dash of adventure and excitement in any story she creates, even her real-life story. She’s been a missionary to the Seychelles and Gabon and now that she and her husband are back in America, they are tackling a brand new adventure, starting a daughter-work church in a new city. Her first novella, Impressed by Love, part of the Colonial Courtships collection, is coming in October, 2012 followed shortly thereafter by The Magistrate’s Folly in November.
Dads come in all flavors and are as heroic and lacking as the rest of us. I think calling the Lord God "Father" is difficult for many who've found their earthly father cold, uncaring, cruel, hypocritical, etc.ReplyDelete
But what a reassuring comfort to see God as Daddy, beyond all the disappointments. Not just a man on a throne but a man who comes TO US with arms outstretched and the desire to show us how special we are.
My son and son-in-law are such wonderful fathers. I'm very proud of them. Happy Father's Day to all the dads and men who have guided and cared for children and young adults. I hope there are open hearts today to give forgiveness and acceptance in broken relationships, and that those who don't have an earthly father or one that seems to care, will find comfort in our heavenly father.
Beautiful post, Lisa!
Some of my favorite times with my dad were camping, fishing, and dancing.ReplyDelete
my dad was a deadbeat Dad and that did/does color my relationship with my heavenly Father more than i'd like to admit.ReplyDelete
i do have good memories of my father on the rare occasions he decided to visit his kids. i know i got my love of sports from him - it was the one area of life that we could really connect.
Dad did come to know the Lord when I was in my thirties and I was blessed by him taking me out to lunch one day and apologizing for being such a terrible Dad. He realized how it had made certain things in life more difficult for me and he regretted that.
So... the Lord can certainly redeem memories and fathers - even deadbeats.
I have the most wonderful dad ever.ReplyDelete
That stench you smell all the way to wherever you are from the Dallas area is me. Yes, I'm that spoiled.
I think what I really appreciate about my dad most right now is how much he supports my writing. I don't think extremely gentle cozy mysteries featuring middle aged needleworking women would be his first choice of reading material, but he reads mine and shares them proudly.
Even when I spent fifteen years between contracts, he never quit telling me he knew I could do it and that the next one was coming.
What a great dad!
I'm blessed. :D
Great post, Lisa.ReplyDelete
My dad supports my writing, too, DeAnna. He's never put it down, minimized it, or said anything bad about my dreams. That's a huge blessing.