This blog focuses on the quest to know and please God in a constantly increasing way. The upward journey never ends. My prayer is that this blog will reflect a heart that seeks God and that it will encourage others who share the same heart desire.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Failed Fathers

This week's news reported parents who abominably mistreated their thirteen children by chaining, starving, neglecting, and otherwise abusing them. While this case is extreme, many children struggle with memories of imperfect fathers. Children understand God the Father based on observations of their earthly fathers. As a result, some children who accept God don't consider the relationship special or significant. Others reject God, concluding, "I don't want anything to do with that kind of Father." Here are twenty areas of potential failure by earthly fathers, contrasted with the perfect Heavenly Father.

Not providing for basic needs. Some fathers fail to adequately provide food, clothing, shelter, medical care, time, and personal interaction. Jesus said, "Look at the birds of the air.... Your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? ... Will He not much more clothe you?" (Matthew 6:26,30).

Not being aware of needs. Some fathers are so disconnected, unconcerned, or naive that they don't recognize their children's needs. Even when their children hint at needs or show symptoms of neglect, the fathers remain oblivious. "Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him" (Matthew 6:8).

Not giving gifts. Some fathers never give their children special or appropriate gifts. "How much more will your Father give what is good to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:11). "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17).

Not expressing love. Some fathers will not hug or hold their children; some refuse to say the words "I love you." God's love is not hidden. "The Father Himself loves you" (John 16:27).  "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us" (I John 3:1).

Not showing compassion. Some fathers demand that their children be tough, never crying or yielding to pain. "But the fruit of spirit is ...  gentleness" (Galatians 5:22-23). "The LORD has compassion on those who fear Him" (Psalm 103:13).

Not able to comfort. Some fathers avoid their children's tears and close themselves off from their sorrows. "Blessed be ... the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions" (II Corinthians 1:3-4).

Not showing mercy. Some fathers show no heart toward their children's troubles, leaving them to suffer the consequences or to work out problems for themselves. God has tender pity and compassion. "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6:36).

Not giving appropriate advice. Instead of giving wise counsel, as patterned in Proverbs, some fathers demand that children learn for themselves or treat them as stupid when they need help. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach" (James 1:5).

Not giving hope. Some fathers express either openly or by implication that their children are no good and will never amount to anything. "God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope" (II Thessalonians 2:16).

Not being approachable. Some fathers make their children intimidated to ever ask them for anything, whether big or small, needed or desired. "If you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you" (John 16:23).

Not accepting. Some fathers create an atmosphere of fear rather than belonging. "You have not received a spirit ... leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!'" (Romans 8:15).

Not establishing appropriate boundaries. Instead of exercising parental discretion, some fathers show excessive permissiveness. God limits what He gives, based on His wisdom. "You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures" (James 4:3).

Not treating all children fairly. Some fathers show partiality or favoritism to a certain child, regardless of his good or bad actions. "If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work" (I Peter 1:17).

Not acknowledging success. Some fathers will not recognize their children's talent, will not concede that their children have surpassed them, and will not praise good work. "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit" (John 15:8).

Not disciplining properly. Some fathers discipline occasionally, habitually, or exclusively in anger, with no conscious thought of guiding or correcting their children. "But He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.... Afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness" (Hebrews 12:10-11).

Not giving second chances. Some fathers impose strict censure on children who have deeply disappointed them. God heart shines in the story of the Prodigal Son. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him" (Luke 15:20).

Not offering long-term welcome. Some fathers impose a time frame on how long their children are welcome, perhaps even kicking them out of the home. "In My Father's house are many dwelling places ... I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2).

Not protecting. Through apathy or neglect, some fathers fail to protect their children from danger. "Holy Father, keep them in Your name" (John 17:11).

Not being moral. Some fathers verbally or physically, even sexually, abuse their children. God clearly expresses His response to such mistreatment. "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea" (Mark 9:42).

Not being loyal. Some fathers refuse to acknowledge their children, some even abandoning them completely. "I will be a father to you" (II Corinthians 6:18). "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).

Exempt from failure, the Heavenly Father is the ultimate embodiment of every admirable fatherly quality, yielding a gracious, peaceful atmosphere. "Grace to you and peace from God our Father" (Ephesians 1:2).

No comments:

Post a Comment

As you leave comments and feedback, please remember that this site is desiged to edify and encourage.