Earthly Father versus Heavenly Father

Psalm 103:13: “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him…” (NIV)

Have you ever stopped to think that fathers have big shoes to fill?  As parents, my husband and I try to live according to the way God wants us to, teaching and training and loving and disciplining our children according to Biblical standards.

I used to believe that mothers had the tougher job than fathers.  We are usually the ones that our kids feel safe enough to vent to (yell and scream at) and try out their independence on.  We also are the ones that are with them more often so we hear more whining, complaining, and manipulation to try and get out of chores or homework.  We are the ones whose meals are criticized, yelled at when their clothes didn’t make it to the laundry room on time, and have to listen to ten excuses as to why it’s not possible to vacuum the whole house before dad gets home.  We have to drag them to doctor and/or dentist appointments and remind them to brush their teeth (twice a day, not just when they want to).

On the flip side, we also are the ones that usually get to hear their inmost secrets, are trusted with their hearts, and know their likes and dislikes down to their favorite movie.  We also get to listen to all their activities with friends and hear what dreams they have for their future.  For some blessed fathers who actively invest in their children, they are privileged to share in this part as well.

However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that our husbands, their fathers, have the tougher job.  As mothers we are expected to be firm but loving, tender with a side of toughness, but mainly a soft place for our kids to land.  Even though God gives us a Biblical standard to live by, we are not the earthly example of the loving Heavenly Father that our husbands are.  They are the ones that truly are expected to show God to our children.  They are the ones that have to give discipline when necessary, show unconditional love, and do the best they can as imperfect examples of our perfect God.  I’m thankful that is not part of my job description.

I’m not trying to imply that any man should be expected to live up to the perfect standard that God Himself is.  I am saying that to have an earthly father who loves God and his family enough to seek God out in order to do his very best, is the biggest blessing that any child can receive.

Today, on Father’s Day, I want to say thank you to my father and my “other” father.  I know that parenting isn’t easy and for them to seek God’s help for such an important task is an example they passed along to the next generation.   Most of all, I want to say thank you to my husband, who on a daily basis, shows our kids the best example he can of how much our Heavenly Father loves them.   No one is perfect here on Earth, but it is evident that he seeks God’s wisdom in training, teaching, disciplining, and showing unconditional love to our kids.  I pray that our kids will in turn continue that tradition with their children, passing the torch to the next generation.

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