Matthew 3:17, John 14:6, John 14:9, Galatians 4:6

Mike Davies considers the importance of fathering.

Mike Davies
Mike Davies

Alexander the Great wrote, "I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well."

Alexander the Great's teacher was the philosopher Aristotle.

My father left our family home when I was only four years old and I didn't really get to see him or have a conversation with him until I was much older. Therefore, I can agree that I am indebted to my natural father for my physical life, but it is on others that I must give the credit for the way I was brought up.

It is good to be cheered on, to have someone encouraging you to come through; to have someone who will stand by you, whatever your circumstances.

With my son, who is now 11, I have always attended his Sports Days. In the early years he would look out for me. These days there is the touch of "don't embarrass me daddy." So I keep a distance and still cheer him on.

As it is in life, it is in our Christian walk. We should have someone who is cheering us on: a mentor, a father, or a mother in the faith. I am grateful to have been nurtured and fathered in the faith since I became a Christians at the age of 23.

The love shown us by our natural parents, foster parents, or those who looked after us when we were growing up, cannot compare to the perfect love our Heavenly Father has for each one of us.

William Paul Young, within his book 'The Shack' wrote, "Let me say for now that we knew once the Creation was broken, true fathering would be much more lacking than mothering. Don't misunderstand me, both are needed - but an emphasis on fathering is necessary because of the enormity of its absence."

In our minds each one of us has a view of God the Father. It is how we view this relationship that really defines our relationship with Him. This does get confusing because there is only one God, but in three persons. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But for the moment let's focus on the Father heart of God.

I have just returned from three weeks touring South Africa. It's amazing when you have no Wi-Fi or phone signal, how you initially you feel out of touch, but soon your mind starts to relax having no urgent issues to deal with.

Roaming on my phone was switched off, but if I had left it on my phone I would have been constantly searching for the best connection.

As part of God's creation we are designed to be constantly searching for Him. This is awesome, because He isn't hard to find. We don't need to really search, because God wants to have a deep and lasting relationship with us.

God is working in Christ to reveal God as our Father. In Matthew 3:17 we see Jesus age 30 coming to be baptised by John the Baptist. Heaven opens, a dove descends, and there is a voice from heaven. Out of all the things that God the Father could have said, he said, '"This is My Son. In Him I am well pleased."'

Everybody needs to hear and understand this, because the love that God the Father had for Jesus is the same love that He has for us.

Jesus teaches us to pray: "Our Father who art in heaven." Out of all the names, terms, and characteristics that God uses in the Bible to describe Him, it is as a Father that Jesus wants Him to be known.

Our picture and image of God needs to be of a loving Father, who is cheering us on and is there when we fall down.

'Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."' (John 14:6)

Jesus uses the word Father.

'Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?"' (John 14:9)

Again, Jesus says Father.

We are created to respond to God. We have been created to be loved by God, and for us to love God.

'And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"' (Galatians 4:6)

I pray daily for every member within my church. Prayer changes your heart and your attitude and I just love it when I see anyone I have prayed for on a Sunday or during the week, and I can give them a hug, or a high five (for those not into hugs). I wonder how much greater the love is of the Father when we meet Him in prayer, or when He sees us doing what we are destined to do.

One of the great things about our Heavenly Father is that even when we are distant, doing things wrong, His love for us is exactly the same.

Wherever you are today and whatever your situation, the love of Father God is there for you. All you need to do is be open and honest with Him.

The Bible tells us that once we repent and have faith in God we are no longer slaves but sons and daughters!

What a great and loving God we have. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.