On Sunday I addressed our church on God’s role for fathers and the hope there is in following Christ despite failures of the past and questions of the future:
As some of you know, today is Father’s Day. It is important to remember that God has tasked fathers with the headship of the household. If you are a Father, remember that you are responsible to love your children by bringing them up in the instruction and discipline of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). This human responsibility does not ultimately rest on the world, nor teachers at school, nor even their mother. Indeed, mothers are responsible too, but you are ultimately responsible as the head of your wife (Ephesians 5:23) and closest personal example of how your children will see God, their Heavenly Father. This is a daunting task, but your only hope comes from the Lord and His Word, and what a source of comfort that is! He will supply what you need to do as Deuteronomy 6 says: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (vss. 6-7, ESV). And if you feel powerless or feel like you’ve blown it, there is hope. Come to God, repent of your fear and failures and go to your Heavenly Father for forgiveness today. He will restore and strengthen you in the duty He has called you to live out.
On a day like this, I also recognize that there are some here who have lost their father and perhaps others who have an absent father. I encourage you – do not despair. Even though your steps on the road to becoming a better man are painful and you carry the heavy burden of what is missing, consider what you do have through faith in Christ. Your Heavenly Father will supply all your need, and He does this not be taking away the sting of loss but rather by giving that pain heavenly purpose. King David was once in a state in which he desperately cried out to God, and he reflected on God’s comforting presence in the midst of such loss: “Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation! For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in” (Psalm 27:9-10). Indeed, the Lord is near to all who call on Him (Psalm 145:18).