According to the Christian Copyright Licensing International one of the top worship songs for the past few months is Chris Tomlin’s “Good Good Father.” The lyrics speak of “love so undeniable” and “peace so unexplainable” and how good God is by nature.
Many of us are or were fortunate enough to enjoy positive relationships with our fathers but others of us have or had strained or no relationships with them. Some never knew their dads, losing them to death or other things.
Michael Card penned words to the song “Underneath the Door” and explained that his father was a doctor with a very large practice. After leaving early for full day between the hospital and the office, he would come home late and retreat, alone, to his library. As a young boy, Card would push drawings underneath the study door, trying to get his dad’s attention. Card wrote that his father was “unable to unlock the door that stayed closed inside of him” and that “his youngest son would starve for what he would always do without.” Card concluded that “it’s strange the way we tend to flee from what we need the most. That a father would lock out his son when his heart would hold him close. But our wounds are part of who we are and there is nothing left to chance. And pain’s the pen that writes the songs and they call us forth to dance.”
For some, a difficult father-child relationship can cause lasting damage. It even can warp one’s view of God. Whatever our experiences have been, hopefully we can get to the point of understanding God as the ideal father. He is loving, gracious, merciful and intimately in-tune with our hopes and feelings. Jesus showed us how to pray to our heavenly Father and we too have open access to him. “The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (Romans 8:15-17)
We should pray for fathers and father figures to exhibit the wisdom and loving guidance that is so desperately needed by children and youth. Let us also support initiatives like mentoring programs that put kids in touch with fine men who serve as godly role models and step in where we can to help such good relationships develop.
“Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him – his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing.” (Psalm 68:4-6)