With Father’s Day coming up Sunday, there’s no shortage of written and recorded material out there both celebrating fathers and encouraging better fatherhood across the board. Of course, this is fitting and proper; after all, the Bible has plenty to say about the importance of fathers! Ephesians 6:1-2 speaks on the importance of honoring and obeying one’s parents, and verse 4 tasks fathers with bringing up their children in “discipline and instruction of the Lord”. That’s a big charge, and it’s fitting to have a day set aside to say thank you for all the fathers who are diligent in that great calling.
At the same time, we know that for many, Father’s Day doesn’t seem like a time for thankfulness or celebration. We live in a fallen world, one wracked with pain, sorrow, and fear. As a consequence of the Fall, we struggle with strife, selfishness, anger, and rebellion. That’s true in our daily lives, and it’s one of the reasons why God’s design for togetherness is so often defied or rejected.
As a result of this, there are many families that are fragmented. Some people have had to deal with fathers that were distant, abusive, or completely missing from their lives. Some are still dealing with hurts and betrayals of trust that we may only begin to imagine.
Psalm 68:5 tells us “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation” (ESV). No matter what struggles or letdowns we may have suffered from earthly fathers, we have a Father in heaven who has made it clear that he loves and cares for those who He calls His own. Even in our struggles, pain, and loneliness, we have a God who makes “all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). As hard as that can be to see sometimes, we know that God “heals the brokenhearted” in perfect love (Psalm 147:3).
If you feel like you’re on the sidelines this Father’s Day, know you’re not alone. You have a heavenly Father who has seen all of your hurt, all of your sorrows, and one day will “wipe every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4). Christ, in atoning for our sin on the Cross, has prepared a place for us in the Father’s house! (John 14:2). What a homecoming awaits those of us who have repented and have been drawn to Christ as our Lord and Savior! There, we have a Father who will never disappoint, never leave, never forsake, never injure. We can look to Him always, in perfect joy and peace, knowing the hurts of this world are temporary, and that God is with his children always (Hebrews 13:5).
This Father’s Day, may you experience that same perfect joy and peace. People can hurt, families can disappoint, but God’s love for you as His child will never, ever end.