The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love… As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. Psalm 103:8, 13 NIV
To me, Father’s Day is hand-drawn cards and hugs from my kids. A day I stop and thank God for the priceless gifts they are, and how He continually uses them to teach me more about Himself.
However, it’s also a day in which I reflect on the awesome responsibility—and opportunity—I have in helping to shape how my children see and relate to their Heavenly Father.
My wife and I recently built a new house and one of the very first purchases we made upon moving in was a 60-inch HD flat screen television. I’m a gamer and a tech geek, so I was more than pumped. Let’s be honest, I was probably more excited about the flat screen than I was about the house itself! Two months later, our two year-old Zach decided to heave a big wooden block across the living room. Nailing my “pride and joy” about two inches right of center, he cracked the screen and put an end to my gaming bliss.
My initial reaction of shock and disbelief gave way to frustration. Then, as my frustration was about to explode into full blown anger, I felt the Holy Spirit gently convicting me, “It’s only a television. Isn’t your son’s heart infinitely more valuable than a flat screen hanging on the wall?”
My son didn’t understand what he had done, he was simply doing what toddlers do. Had I responded harshly, what would that have taught him about his daddy? Furthermore, how would that shape his view of his Heavenly Daddy?
It’s been three months since the accident, and while the television is still broken, my son’s heart is intact. Whether he realizes it now or not, I hope he knows that he is far more precious to me than anything money could buy.
This Father’s Day (and every day), it is my prayer that the example I set as his earthly father only reinforces what his mother and I are teaching him about the Heavenly One. That, and that he gets a pitching scholarship to pay for college!