Let’s get right to it…on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your father?
Was he there for you, teaching you right from wrong? Was he hardworking, taking care of his family? Was he a good example of what a man could be? Or did he have problems, struggling in life and hurting others along the way? Or did you have a father who wasn’t around at all? Maybe your biological father did or didn’t meet the criteria used to call him a great dad. It could be that someone else stepped up to be a father figure for you. That’s good. It’s important, especially for children, to have the right role models. It shapes who we become or the partners we choose as we grow older. What we see growing up can have a big impact on our lives as adults.
There’s a country song by Rodney Adkins from 2006 called “Watching You”. Part of the lyrics say…
Well, then my four year old said a four letter word That started with “s” and I was concerned. So I said, “Son, now where did you learn to talk like that?” He said, “I’ve been watching you, dad, ain’t that cool?”
Later in the song it says…
He closed his little eyes, folded his little hands And spoke to God like he was talking to a friend. So I said, “Son, now where did you learn to talk like that?” He said, “I’ve been watching you, dad, ain’t that cool?”
The song is a good reminder that children are apt to follow in their parents footsteps. Genetics and behaviors are passed down to the next generation. What is inherited could make the child strong, healthy, loving and whole. This positions them well so that later they can pass on what they received. Others have lineages with factors leading children to be broken, weak, confused, angry, addicted, abused or abusive. Things can get ugly. Many of us have been blessed with wonderful fathers (like I have). But if you were not blessed in this way, don’t get stuck because of the negative influences of your earthly father. That father was only human; you needed more than what he was able to give. Each child, young or old, has a choice on who they follow and who they let define them. Each child has a supreme role model, the best of the best, Our Heavenly Father.
God as our creator, provider, protector, teacher, fulfills essential fatherly roles, doing everything in love, with mercy and compassion. God sets the ultimate standard for how to be a great father. His words, captured in Holy texts, guide us in the way to live. Listening to His voice, heard from deep within, He instructs us or comforts us, meeting our needs and leading us in the paths of righteousness. Seek God’s wisdom. Ask for His Fatherly advice. Through your relationship with God, you can set a pattern for living for yourself and those that follow you. God can fill you with enough good so that you are able to give away what you have received. You can halt harmful cycles. By learning lessons from God, you will become who you were made to be—an image of your Heavenly Father.