“Our Father is not easily offended. He is patient and longsuffering, and His loving kindness is everlasting. But still, I can’t help but wonder if he doesn’t get offended at the way we treat Him. We give Him such little time, expecting Him to listen fast and perform quickly.”1 Our earthly fathers may be imperfect, but this would be a good day to listen carefully and lovingly, if your father is still living.
“Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.” (Proverbs 22:23; NIV) “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to the fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:6; NIV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
Tell the Lord you are sorry if Your time with Him has been rushed or minimal. Repent and ask Him to help you spend more quality time with Him. Be very honest with Him about your relationship with Him. Let Him minister to you and draw you close.
Often, our relationship with our heavenly Father mirrors our relationship with our earthly dads. Today, let God heal any wounds you carry from a distorted image of God that may have come from your relationship with your dad. Forgive your dad, even if he is no longer living. Just write a little note and deal with it.
Now, if your dad is living, visit your dad or call him, even if your relationship has been strained. If the two of you talk often, really listen and enjoy the time. Be thankful for what you have—don’t take it for granted! If you rarely talk or aren’t even sure what to talk about, ask a couple of questions and listen carefully. Tell him you love him and that you would like to have a better relationship this coming year. Trust the Lord to touch His heart and change things.
If your dad has passed, tell your wife or kids or a friend about some happy memories you had with him.
If you are a dad, open up with your children and let them into your heart and thoughts and relationship with your heavenly Father a little more today!
A prayer you can pray:
Father, I am so thankful for You! You are a wonderful Father – good and kind and loving me no matter what! Forgive me when I am hurried in my conversations with You. Forgive me if I worry and overthink things in my life instead of bringing everything to you! I want to know You better. Deepen my relationship with my dad (if your dad is living). Help me to open up with my own kids and show them how much they mean to me and You mean to me (if you are a dad.) In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Deepen our love for one another, Father, especially with You and with earthly dads and the next generation today!
1 Dutch Sheets, The Pleasure of His Company (Bethany House Publishers, Bloomington, MN, 2014) 168.