I remember as a little boy rushing to greet my father when he came home from work. I also remember imitating how he sat. When we played mums and dads as children, I always insisted on playing dad.
I was blessed by a good father who loved my mother and would do anything for his children including giving up his job and travelling to the other side of the world. He had a secure government job and did not need or desire to migrate.
However, he did for his children’s sake at the age of 44.
I am so grateful to him for his selfless love.
Not everybody’s experience of fatherhood is so positive for many diverse reasons.
The scriptures often portray God as a loving and tender father. In the book of the prophet Hosea God is portrayed as a father holding his child cheek to cheek in tender love.
Of course, God can be seen as either mother or father or both! All that is good of either parent reflects something of who God is.
I often say to children, especially to boys that a strong man is never violent to his children or the women in his life.
There are so many stereotypes about men that can be very unhelpful.
E.g., boys don’t cry, or that men do not show their emotions or that real men should hide their weakness etc.
I once heard someone say that a young man who does not show his feeling can become a ‘savage’ whatever that means!
I think that they mean that he does not really mature or grow up!
We give thanks for our fathers and grandfathers. We would not be here without them!
If we have the opportunity to be a father figure for someone who has not had the opportunity of having a father figure in their life and are invited to do, let us give thanks for the privilege.
Jesus invited us to call God Abba i.e., Daddy. This playful and childlike way of calling God is helpful to many.
For those who have had sad experiences of fatherhood, it may be helpful to remember God’s fatherhood is freed from our human limitations. God is everything that a great human father can be and much, much, more!