Tuesday, September 28, 2010
What thoughts come to mind when you look at this picture? Do you see the innocence of the child and the tender touch of the father? Do you see the commitment of a lifetime of gentle care that has been placed in this man's hands? Do you see the utter dependence of the infant?
Unfortunately some fathers never come close to fulfilling their responsibilities to their children. Some abandon early on. Others abuse and even more simply find being a father just too hard. It's much easier to be a friend than be a father. Friends laugh and play. Fathers mentor, discipline, teach and stay.
This week the gals in my study are going to read through John 15:1-11 and list out descriptions of the Heavenly Father from those verses. We have asked them to spend all week simply looking for the Father's actions, descriptions of His character and His roles.
This is a valuable exercise, especially for those who never had the earthly father they needed. You see, God chose the name Father, and in choosing this name, He committed to modeling out exactly who and what a father should be. For fathers, there is no better role model than God Himself.
But here's the kicker - as He models it out, He is living it out. He's not simply an instructor, defining the role for humans to live out, but He literally defines fatherhood by demonstrating it. "Father" is not simply a title or name for God. Rather, He is Father. He embodies exactly who and what a father should be.
So, without doing your work for you, see if you can take a few minutes and check out some of the things God is doing for you as a Father in John 15. If you've had a poor example of an earthly Father, then embrace the truth of the Heavenly Father. He will never let you down. He will never walk away and He'll never abuse. He loves you and He loves you enough to discipline you.
So have some fun with this and, after looking at the Father for a while, when you look at this picture, perhaps you will see yourself more clearly...