I am one of the lucky ones. My Daddy was the sweetest and best. He loved me and my brother unconditionally and provided security, wisdom, love, fun, memories, discipline, and counsel. He always urged me to follow Jesus and obey him above all others. Daddy was unselfish and taught us how to care for others by his example. He loved his extended family, his hometown and community, his church, and his business. He was loyal to all and committed to doing the right thing and urging others to do likewise. Daddy was not perfect; he had flaws and made mistakes, but I admired his honesty and integrity. He owned up to his weaknesses, knew how to say sorry, and always turned a mistake into an opportunity to learn a lesson and do better in the future. Those may have been the best lessons. My friends all loved him and wanted to sit by him and talk about boyfriends, big decisions they were pondering, and other life issues.
While others also had wonderful dads, many did not. Some fathers were absent, un-caring, selfish, unfaithful, and lots of other bad things. Those with a bad dad did not deserve that any more than those with a good dad deserved theirs. The dad we each got was out of our control. Good dads or bad dads are not earned by their children; to some extent it is just luck-of-the-draw. If you have a wonderful dad, be careful that you don’t think you are somehow better than someone whose dad is not so stellar. And on the other hand, if your dad has disappointed you over and over, do not feel responsible for his choices or doomed by them.
The best news ever is that we all have a Father who loves us beyond our comprehension. He is ready and waiting for all to receive him and experience the love and compassion and peace he has to offer. See the story of the prodigal son which depicts God’s love for us (Luke 15:11-24). He accepts us with our weaknesses, mistakes, and failures, and offers us a life free from the penalty of sin. This Father of all created the universe and all the beauty that we see in this world. He loved us enough to send his son, Jesus, to live on earth and to die to pay the price for our sin. While our sins may vary, the reality of a sin nature in each human being is undeniable. Our Father provided a solution to our sin; it is a free gift and he longs for each of us to accept it. God makes himself known, and down in our heart of hearts we all see and experience evidence of him: it is everywhere. If you seek him, you will find him! “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3) God’s offer to humanity is made possible by his amazing grace – unconditional love provided to those who do not deserve it.
Seek and you will find
Giving up control is hard for most of us, but it is worth it. My way or God’s way? It was a no-brainer from the start and I have never had a regret. In fact, the greatest freedom comes when we get ourselves off the throne of our lives and put God in his rightful place. God our Father is trustworthy and He is able to do in and through our lives so much more than we could ever do on our own. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
If you had a good and godly dad, he made choices creating his own reputation; you have to make your own decisions that will impact your life and character. A good reputation is not inherited; each individual writes his/her own story. On the other hand, if you had a disappointing dad, that resulted from his decisions. As his child you have an opportunity to do better and make your story a great one. So will you assume you are “entitled” to a great life because your dad was who he was? Or will you be defeated and assume you can never become a good man because of your dad and the choices he made?
Satan will try to mess with you and play mind games with you. He will try to keep you from becoming all that God has in mind for you. Don’t let him bring you down. Turn to the loving Father who has your back; he will never leave you or forsake you.
Remember today and everyday – You are loved by your Father.