God – the Perfect Father
God our Father loved us and by his kindness gave us everlasting encouragement and good hope. Together with our Lord Jesus Christ, may he encourage and strengthen you to do and say everything that is good.
─ 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 GW
Fathers leave a lasting impression on the lives of their children. Like a carving in the trunk of an oak, as time passes the impressions fathers make on their children grow deeper and wider. Depending upon how the tree grows, those impressions can either be ones of harmony or ones of distortion.
2 Thessalonians 2:16 speaks of God as our Father, who loves us and gives us everlasting encouragement and good hope. Verse 17 encourages us to look to Him as our example of the perfect father, “may he encourage and strengthen you to do and say everything that is good.”
Some fathers skillfully carve beautiful messages of love, support, solid discipline and acceptance into the personality core of their children. Other fathers use words and actions that cut deeply and leave emotional scars.
Your father’s imprint on you can be seen best as you remember your father’s words and actions in relationship to who you were as a child. Think back to any moment or event in your childhood when you and your father were both present. That recollection is what I call a father memory and reveals how he contributed to your perception of yourself, others and life.
Your father memories reveal your basic personality, your style of relating to others, potential conflicts in relationships and the life themes that determine your view of life. Earthly fathers are less than perfect, but our heavenly Father’s love is perfect.
Today’s One Thing
Take a moment right now to think about how your Heavenly Father loves you. Let His image of the perfect parent direct your choices and decisions this week – as a parent to your own children and everyone you have relationships with.