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God the Father

How God shows us the importance of fathers in families

This week a report on the importance of the relationship between dads and daughters caught my eye.

Growing up, I was a Daddy’s girl. Some of my best memories are of tearing along muddy orchard tracks in the pickup with my dad listening to Five Live, or the occasional business trip he let me come along on to London. He taught me so much about life, daring, hard work, respect, and a love that shows itself in actions. I also needed his firm leadership that guided me through the ups and downs of childhood and adolescence. I experienced firsthand the big part fathers play in the life of their daughters.

I know I am blessed to have had a relationship with my dad that too many girls in our country never experience. The Institute for Family Studies’ report is full of sobering statistics, such as the fact that fatherless daughters are seven times more likely to become pregnant as teens.” and the vast majority of women in the porn industry who came from father-abusive or father-absent homes.” If girls do not receive male love and attention from their fathers, it is not surprising that they do not have the basis for their future relationships. 

God knew the importance of the parent – child relationship. He called Himself our father in heaven” and His relationship to each of us is the perfect example of what the bond between father and child should look like. Children are charged to, Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12) and in this moment we see God entrusted children to their parents with His loving authority and the responsibility to guide and raise their children. 

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And God calls His church to take part in the task of raising children, asking us to care for orphans and widows, and act as the father to the fatherless. Today we don’t see as many orphans and widows but within our communities the church has a part to play to support single parents raising their children alone and to offer space for those children whose family units have crumbled. 

As I reflect on the value of fathers to their children, I wonder whether we are celebrating loudly enough the men who faithfully serve in their families? I am so thankful to my dad, the time he spent with me, the way he loved (loves!) me and the way he guided me through the start of life. How can we better honour those dads, uncles, grandads and father-figures who are faithfully present, as well as step in where we see a dad-shaped space? 

Ways to pray:

Thank God for the men who serve their families faithfully each day

Pray for those children and parents who are missing a parent

Pray that our churches will take up the job of filling the gap when dads are absent.

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