20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.   Luke 15:20-27

As I was in prayer, I began to think about the upcoming celebration of fathers: “Father’s Day”, on this Sunday. I began to reminisce of my children growing up. Of course, tears began to swell up in just thinking about the melody of their laughter. I still remember the hand-made gifts they brought me throughout the years, some I still have at arms length. Although I appreciated the gifts and sentiment at the time, it is only NOW that I can really reflect on their love being expressed. Could it be that years of living their experiences with them have made me appreciate them growing out of something, and into other things. I am more worried today about the impact that my life, as a christian, as a parent and as a father has made on their lives.

Growing up I briefly appreciated my step-father, and biological father – but really it was the men of the church that I connected with and looked to for guidance. (there’s a lesson here) Reflecting back I can see that God, my Heavenly Father was the One that I turned to for example, for comfort, and for provision. Perhaps that is why this Father’s Day, I especially feel convicted in appreciating my family, wanting to be that living example of Christ and His Love.

It’s easy to be set in your ways and only love when being loved. “I love you because you love me”, or “I love you because I have to”. It is Christ’s example of loving no matter what. No matter what your children, life or the enemy brings your way. I look at the father in the story of the prodigal son, and noticed “when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him“, which tell me he was looking for that boy to come home. As a father, there are sometimes your children drive you CRAZY! You wish they would see what you see, understand the lessons you’ve taught them – ‘just get it’! LOL. But I read, the father, “had compassion“. Jesus help me, that’s what I need to work on, I’m working on, with Christ’s help. That’s God teaching ME. I think of all the times I have failed the Father, miserable, hurt and embarrassed I come back, and He loves me. He embraces me. He forgives me.

I pray that my children can one day look back remembering ‘daddy’ and say, ‘He didn’t give us everything we wanted, but we had everything we needed’, ‘We knew that we were loved’. I can still hear Bethany and Joshua’s giggling and playing in the living room, as if it was yesterday – I’ve been truly blessed to be entrusted with their care, and I don’t take that lightly.

No, perhaps I didn’t have the greatest example of a earthly father, but I had a Heavenly Father that loved me. My Father loved me when I was unloveable, who was there in my triumphs, who taught me in my times of despair. My Heavenly Father, my best friend, who still is my guide, and the best-est father in the whole universe.

Although men don’t like to show their emotional side, every man who is a father wants to be appreciated and feel that they have made a difference in their family’s lives. Take some time out to appreciate your husband, father, brother, cousin – they might want to act un-emotional, but I guarantee you they can get a bit misty-eyed when appreciated for what they do.