In the spirit of all things AI, I threw “Christian Father’s Day” into a blog title generator, hoping I’d get something useful out the other end. The results were laughable*.
*a few of my favourites were: 7 Things You Can Learn From Buddhist Monks About Christian Father's Day, Ways Twitter Destroyed My Christian Father's Day Without Me Noticing, and Father's Day April Fools.
Many of the titles were about striving for perfection, making sure it benefited you the most, even how to reinvent Father’s Day. There was, however, one that got me thinking: 7 Life-saving Tips About Christian Father's Day.
There is absolutely no reason, let alone 7, why Father’s Day will save your life! Forgetting Father’s Day should not endanger your life (it’s on Sunday 18th June though, in case you wanted to know!).
However, do we not serve a Life-saving Heavenly Father Who sent His Son on a life-saving quest?
For many, father is not a word to be rejoiced in, relished, or any degree of comfort found in. Fathers have been absent, abusive, cold, or overbearing. Fathers have failed to protect, failed to guide.
Too often we can fall into the trap of defining God by the failings of our earthly fathers.
Let’s challenge ourselves today and see how 7 Life-saving Tips about our Heavenly Father can show us the perfect Fatherhood of God, Who contains all that we find lacking in our earthly fathers:
1. God the Father is Creator of Heaven and Earth and we are made in His image.
The Nicene Creed begins with: We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We are made in the image of that Creator God. Our very core is as creators.
So many of us have believed our teachers, or unhelpful bystanders, who stated - sometimes decades ago when a 6 year old was adamant the sky should be pink and was told the sky is blue (the sky is pink at sunset or sunrise fyi!) - we’d never be any good at art.
Action point: what have you held back from creating because of the belief ‘I’m not an artist/creative’?
What can you do today to step towards fulfilling that vision? Could you find a Youtube tutorial, make a date with a friend to learn some stitches or how to bake, go to the library and find a how-to book?
2. It means we belong to Him.
For many of us in a post-modern world, a clear sense of belonging has been lost. Broken homes, broken communities, and broken families have destroyed so much of our identity.
Christian, cling to the clear identity you have been given through Christ’s atonement: you belong to God the Father, He has claimed you as His child, and now your identity is a Son or Daughter of The King.
(If you want to dig deeper into the concept of being a Daughter of the King, check out Christian Lettering Company’s prayer journaling kit)
Action point: if our identity is now a Son or Daughter of The King, how should this impact our behaviour, actions, and words?
Create a crown (paint, sculpt, find a printable, digital, whatever medium you delight in) and put it somewhere you will see it daily.
3. If God is our Father, we are children.
We are not God, we are not on the same level as God. Anyone who has been around children knows they will fight for that place of dominance. We put boundaries in to protect them and they push against them again. And again. And again. Yet inside those boundaries, they are safe.
The history of mankind is full of examples of humans trying to reach the heavens and take God’s place. Babel, the pyramids, the Roman emperors, even Karl Marx declaring “My object in life is to dethrone God”. It’s what we do.
Action point: what boundaries has God given that you are pushing against? Write them down and ask God to change your heart towards them and see the protective Fatherly love which established them.
4. The Prodigal’s Father ran to meet him.
To those with an earthly father who has modeled coldness or abandonment, let me paint a picture:
A close knit family: one dad, two sons. They’ve worked hard together through the years and the father looks forward to passing on his legacy to his sons. Yet one day the youngest son throws it all in his face, demands his inheritance (i.e. “I wish you were dead so I could have the money now”), and jumps ship.
There’s no news of him, no visits home for the holidays, he just runs happily away from the man who has loved and cared for him his entire life. Oh don’t get me wrong, rumours drift back. The black sheep of the family is having a ball off on his own, friends with ‘all kinds’, clear money-waster.
Then silence. Famine strikes. The father keeps watch daily but he knows it's a lost cause.
One day he sits down at his usual position overlooking the road, desperate for hope, desperate for his son who, despite spitting in his face, is still so loved and wanted. He sees a beggar hobbling down the road. Or rather, many of us would see a beggar.
The father sees his son. And this respectable, old-aged man, grabs his robes up so he won’t trip, and sprints down the road. You can bet spectators are gathering and gossipping. He doesn’t hear them.
He reaches the beggar, flings his arms around the stinky, muddy, filthy man and starts barking orders to the servants. Tears run down his face as he welcomes his son back into his home and heart.
Action point: is there an area of your life where you have walked away from God and need to come back to Him?
Take time to Bible journal the story of the Prodigal Son and allow yourself to turn back to the Father and know He is running to meet you.
5. We should be emulating the characteristics of our Heavenly Father.
I have adopted siblings and yet my brother is somehow the spitting image of my dad, thanks in large part to how he has adopted his mannerisms, characteristics, and quirks (it’s amazing to see).
We have been adopted into the family of God, we are now sons and daughters of The King, and we should be growing more and more like Him. The Holy Spirit is constantly at work in our lives sanctifying us and making us more like Jesus.
Action point: search through the Scriptures for characteristics of God (even the various names used for God are descriptive of His character, i.e. Jehovah Jireh: the Lord will provide). List them and meditate on them.
6. Jesus says we can call the Almighty Infinite God “Daddy”.
In our modern church, the concept of God as a Father doesn’t really faze us. We grow up learning the Lord’s Prayer with its beginning words “Our Father”, we sing songs of praise such as “Abba Father” or “Good Good Father”, yet throughout the Old Testament, God the Father is separated from His people. His holiness is too great for them to bear.
God wants to be close to His people and yet any time He draws near, they draw back in fear. When the Israelites come out of Egypt, God urges them to come close at Mount Sinai. They’re too scared, run away, and ask Moses to go for them.
Jesus came to bring us into intimacy with that Awesome Father God! We approach the Throne with boldness now, as invited children, and can cry “Abba, Father”.
Action point: Put on a worship song that speaks of God as Father and dwell on the idea the Almighty God is willing for us to call Him ‘Daddy’.
7. The Bible is full of verses about God as Father.
If this is something you want to go deep on, find a concordance and seek out every time the word ‘father’ is used in the Bible.
What image does it start growing of God the Father? Are there aspects that surprise you or make you hesitate? Are there stories that you need to grapple with or verses that you need to read more into the context around them?
Here are a few of our favourite verses: 1 Corinthians 8:6, Isaiah 64:8, and 1 John 3:1.
Action point: meditate on the verses above and thank God that He is our Father.
If this Father’s Day is one of joy and family and happy memories, may God bless you as you gather. Remember this is just a foretaste of the incredible Father’s Day when we gather together as a family in Heaven and worship God the Father! We can’t wait to celebrate there with you!
If this Father’s Day is one of grief and hurt and rejection, we pray God the Father will come close to you and provide what is lacking. We pray you’ll remember there is a perfect Heavenly Father Who sent His Son to die for you, Who chose you and has set you apart for His glory. You have been chosen and your identity is no longer undesired but a beloved child.
Artwork used throughout post:
Title banner: Bespoke Custom Father's Day Family Illustration Print by Izzy & Pop
I AM your Abba Print by Rara Makes
How Deep the Father's Love Hymn Cards by Frog and Gnome
Identity in Christ Print by The Lettering Tree
'My Sons & Daughters' A4 Wall Print by The Hidden Pearl Studio
I am a Child of God Print by Note and Scatter