This Father’s Day, I celebrate the tireless and tender love of our Father in heaven and rejoice in the precious times that earthly dads have mirrored this love to me. Let me share a few stories that stand out.
Father, Full of Grace. How can I forget a father’s open arms reaching out towards his teenage son that finally admitted his disobedience? What an emotionally charged moment! And the oh so gracious hugging that followed. This memorable moment will forever be etched in my heart for I was there, itching to reprimand the disobedience but was quietly rebuked by what transpired and thankfully prevented from inflicting greater damage.
Unconditional Acceptance. How can I forget the faith-driven response of a father when he was just told over the phone that a week-old baby boy was left in a basket in his wife’s office? His words were, “Uwi mo na.” (Bring him home.) No questions, no screening, no “quality” check—just a heart response with a love so alert, ready to welcome, protect, and nourish.
Available Father. From a college daughter’s tedious and time-consuming enrolment problem to the close monitoring of a teenage son with a burning fever, from a tween daughter’s birthday doughnut surprise to taking his son’s pet turtles for a walk in the park, when daddy makes time and gets involved, wheels turn. As he takes an active role in addressing children’s concerns, looking out for their interests, their lives are refreshed and blessed. And so is he. (Happy Father’s Day, honey!)
Don’t they remind you of the father heart of God? He delights in a broken and contrite heart, more anxious to forgive us than we are to sin against Him. He first loved us, and is committed to loving us, even when we insist on our way. His immeasurable love for us does not diminish when we reject Him. Didn’t He become man and die for us while we were yet sinners?
And isn’t He called Emmanuel, “God with us”? Did He not promise to be with us always? Our ever-present Father, intimately acquainted with our concerns, big or small, plain or dandy. What an assuring truth that no matter what we face, we face together with our Abba (Aramaic word for father, whom you trust).
I am aware that not all earthly fathers reflect the father heart of God. I grieve over family abuses and crimes that are initiated by the head of the home, those who were meant to guide and protect. Some dads misrepresent the Father in heaven. What then?
As author James Bryan Smith shares in his God-honoring book The Good and Beautiful God, I quote, “The problem is that we begin with our understanding of what father means and then project that onto God. That is not how it ought to work. When Jesus describes God as his father, we have to let Him define what fatherhood means.”
That’s another thrilling aspect of God. He desires that we seek Him. He promises to reveal Himself and the kind of father that He is. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will find Me, if you seek Me with all your heart.” And as we seek, we delightfully discover that He is more than a Father full of grace, that loves unconditionally and is available globally 24 hours a day. The God of so much more!
Let us celebrate Him and cheer, “Happy Father’s Day, Abba!”
Felichi Pangilinan-Buizon, co-host of The 700 Club Asia, is a homeschooling mom, gospel songwriter, and seminar speaker on parenting and early childcare. She is involved in the ministry of teaching at her local church, Christ’s Commission Fellowship. She welcomes your messages and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at Twitter: @FelichiOfficial