by Rev. Kevin Vogts
Malachi 2:10 asks, “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?” Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June is a civil holiday and not a traditional observance of the Church Year. However, it is from Scripture and especially the example of our heavenly Father Himself that we learn what makes a faithful father.
Example number one: Like your heavenly Father, be a loving and forgiving father. According to Deut. 32:6; Is. 64:8; and Mal. 2:10, in what fundamental sense is God the Father of all humanity?
Read Jesus’ famous Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11–32. Whom does the father in the parable represent? The son? How does the father in the parable welcome back his son and make him part of the family again? What similar Good News do Rom. 8:16 and 1 John 3:1 tell us about our relationship to our heavenly Father?
Example number two: Like your heavenly Father, be a gentle and patient father. Paul beautifully describes God’s plan for how a father should deal with his children in 1 Thess. 2:11–12. What are the three points Paul mentions about how our heavenly Father deals with us?
In Matt. 18:6, what stern warning and condemnation does Jesus pronounce regarding anyone who would abuse or neglect a child? On the other hand, what wonderful promise does He give in Matt. 10:42 for those who care for and devote themselves to children?
Example number three: Like your heavenly Father, be a providing and protecting father. According to Ps. 145:15–16, what does our heavenly Father bestow and on whom does He bestow it?
Example number four: Like your heavenly Father, do not show favoritism. One of the saddest episodes in the Bible is the unbrotherly feud between Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25–28). According to Gen. 25:28, what unwise attitude on the part of their parents was at the root of this feud?
Many families are torn apart by parents who favor one child over another. In contrast, according to Acts 10:34 and Rom. 2:11, how does our heavenly Father regard His children, and how will faithful fathers strive to follow the example of their heavenly Father?
Example number five: Like your heavenly Father, show love to your children by gently and lovingly disciplining them. One of the most difficult parts of being a parent is discipline. Yet discipline is one of the most important parental responsibilities. According to Prov. 3:12, what motivates both God’s divine discipline of His children and our discipline of our children?
According to Heb. 12:9–11, what is the goal of God’s divine discipline of His children and our discipline of our children?
Psalm 103:13 says, “As a fathershows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.” As you serve the Lord in your sacred calling as a father, pray that the Lord will help you follow these “Five Fatherhood Examples from the Father of Us All.”
About the Author: Rev. Kevin Vogts is pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Dakota Dunes, S.D.
Did you know? The first official Father’s Day was celebrated in 1908.