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what does God have to say to fathers?

June 18, 2008

There is a reason God chose to be known as our Father. I am not sure whether God’s plan was to use something that we know to give us an understanding of his love, or if it was the other way around, to give us a picture of how we are to love each other. Most likely it was both. But what I do know for certain is that the parallel is no accident. So when searching for a picture of God’s idea of what it means to be a father, you need look no further than the character of God himself.

There are many verses that relate our earthly fathers to our Heavenly Father. Here are just a few:

Deuteronomy 1:31 – Then you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.

Psalm 103:13 – As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.

Jeremiah 31:9 – They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s father.

Luke 11:11-13 – Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

Hebrews 12:7 – Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?

Fathers are to be compassionate and trustworthy. They should offer gentle instruction, guidance and discipline.  Jeremiah 31:9 gives a beautiful picture of a father patiently leading his child through life, holding his hand and guiding him – pointing out the dangers and pitfalls along the way.

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