Actions speak louder than words. This plays out in sports all the time. We can make predictions about our favorite team all day long, but what happens on the field is the final statement of truth.
It applies to fatherhood too. As dads, we know the difference between talk and action all too well. What we say versus what we actually do is under constant scrutiny by our kids. They’re always watching!
It also comes into play as we learn more about the second of five foundational truths of being a dad: you are to be the example that God uses as an expression of His role as God the Father in your children’s lives.
As the first truth explains, you didn’t become a dad by accident, but were “called” by God to be a dad. The second truth – you are the example – is a little more challenging and an incredibly tall order! But there’s a clear connection between you being called “father” and you calling God “Our Father.”
Put simply, being the example means we love our family members just as God the Father loves them. By considering how God the Father loves each one of us, we can, in turn, with a whole lot of grace, try to do the same thing.
A Good Reflection
To start on the journey of reflecting God the Father into your family’s lives, consider the roles you serve in as a father, such as being a provider, protector, partner and preparer. Now consider how God fulfills these same roles as our Heavenly Father…
- As a provider, God the Father offers unconditional love, forgiveness, joy, peace, patience – you get the point. God loves us in an intimate, personal way and is ever-present in all circumstances.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
- As a protector, God certainly safeguards us from physical danger. But he also protects us emotionally by accepting us just as we are with all our faults and foibles. Wouldn’t we all love to experience that kind of acceptance?!
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
- God is our greatest partner and is always with us no matter the circumstances. He is never too busy or distracted by the latest Facebook post or Sports Center!
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15
- God is our preparer and readies us for any situation we will face. He will never place us in circumstances we cannot handle.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Taking Action…A Mirror Image of the Father
With these thoughts about how God the Father cares for our families, try making a list of a few of the ways God takes care of you. Then, take these and see how you can do the same for your family:
- God takes care of my family and me by (you can pick one from those highlighted above or select one of your own)…
- I can do the same by…
- The one action I am going to take this week to reflect God the Father to my family is…
The Power Behind Your Actions
As you consider this one single action you are going to take, remember you can only make a lasting, positive impact on your family through the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. He is called the “Helper” and is your true partner in faith. Ask Him to inspire and strengthen you. Simply pray, “Come Holy Spirit, come!”
“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!” Luke 11: 11-13