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Perfect Love: A Father’s Reflection
June 18, 2018
The following was written by Jeff Chinery, Managing Director for Everyday Steward®, a division of Ronald Blue Trust.
Like many holidays, Father’s Day can evoke a range of emotions. Depending on the experience we each had (or wish we had) with our earthly dad, we may feel anything from indifference to gratitude to anger. Fortunately, we have a heavenly Father who is a perfect model of what a father can aspire to be. Regardless of our own personal experience with our dads, we can take comfort in knowing we have a Father who does not fail us in any way. That being said, it can often be difficult to see our heavenly Father’s unending love for us clearly given our earthly experiences.
One blessing in my life that has provided a new perspective has been the privilege of becoming an adoptive parent. In addition to our four biological kids, we have two adopted children, and we’re in the process of adopting another child. Adoption can be challenging, but it has also been immensely rewarding to our family as it provides a tangible picture of our heavenly Father’s love for us. Ephesians 1:5 tell us that God adopted each of us as His own children. There are many things about His love for us that can help us become better fathers, but here are my biggest three insights:
Love is a decision.
God chose us and continues to choose to love us even when we’re not lovable or worthy of love. As parents and dads, we will likely have moments where we struggle with our children. We can remember that we are choosing to love, and our constant love is what they need even when they don’t know it.
Love is not always about making people happy.
As parents, we desire for our children to be happy, and we will often try to fix or solve their problems to keep them happy. Being a dad who focuses on this might solve short-term pain but it may not be what is best for them. As Proverbs reminds us, a father who loves his children disciplines them. If we step back, we can probably acknowledge that immediate happiness isn’t always a blessing in the long term.
Love entails sacrifice.
Perfect love was obviously manifested in Jesus’ death for us on the cross. As a father, God gave up His own son as a sacrifice. Most of us are not going to be called to this level of love, but we have a model we can remind ourselves of. The reality is that we will give up or make sacrifices (financial, time, etc.) if we have children. Interestingly, and as is often the case in God’s economy, our seeming sacrifices not only provide blessings to our children, but often bless us as well as we begin to value the eternal over the temporal.
Knowing that I am adopted and loved by my heavenly Father beyond measure, and especially when it is not deserved, is a strong reminder of my call as a father to provide the same love to my children.
On behalf of Ronald Blue Trust, I hope you had a great Father’s Day and that we continue to be reminded of His perfect love for us!
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