It really touches me when I see how much my children love me. I would really like to be a good father to them, but often I notice my boundaries. I’ve thought about this many times.
Who is a father, and what should he be like? What do we think about when we hear the word “father”? What associations does this word evoke? How can I be a good father?
The associations that the word “father” evokes in you are, of course, connected with your own father. And there can be a big difference between people. The father of some, perhaps, did not respect his children at all, his words and deeds made them feel like a burden. The father of others was kind, loving, just, wanting only good for his children. Such a father is not hard to respect. He protects you, carries you, exhorts you with compassion and patience. Such a father sees his weakness and admits his limits. My own father is one of those people. I am very grateful to God that I have such a father.
Unfortunately, not all children have such fathers. Most fathers want to treat their children the best they can. But they have their own human inclinations and limitations, and if they are not entirely sure how to act in a given situation, then they can cause all sorts of harm to their children.
The worst thing is hypocrisy. When the father admits his boundaries, it does not cause suffering in the children. If the father is honest and accepts help, much can be saved.
However, there are fathers who are bad examples. Some even abuse their children’s trust by subjecting them to violence. And instead of seeking help, they are busy preserving the façade in front of the people around them. Their children must match the picture they created. Such fathers demand too much and useless things from their children. If such a father also uses “Christian” terms and quotes from Scripture, I can imagine how this leads to a short circuit in the head of his children. They know something is wrong. Their loyalty and trust in their father evaporates into thin air, and doubts and neglect appear. What does such a child think when someone tells him that God wants to become his/her Father? What associations does such a child have with God?
Secret: how to become a good father
If I want to become a good father for my children, then the secret, first of all, is that I must know God as my heavenly Father. Such a loving, kind, fair, wise and trustworthy One. Communicating with Him, I get to know Him more and more. Then I, like a little child, hold His strong and kind hand in my hand, and I feel peace and security. When I myself have experienced His care and continue to communicate with Him, then, as a father, it will be natural for me to manifest in my daily life the qualities in myself that I saw in my heavenly Father.
Therefore, I must again become like a small child. I have to trust Him like a little child. Do not reject His admonitions and reproofs, do not be stubborn and self-confident, but listen, and be honest and take God at His word. He does not reproach His children, but gives them help so that they can grow. He works purposefully with His children. He sees more than I (His child) can see myself. He is very attentive and gives me time and space. He respects my free will.
Sometimes He has to stop me to keep me from falling away from faith. I can fully open up to Him and tell what occupies my thoughts. With Him I can be myself. I don’t have to pretend, try to seem better than I really am. Reading the Bible, I can see how much He loves me and wants me to be all right. And it says that He is able to take care of it! When I, like a small child who trusts my Father, hold on to His hand, when I myself do not see and do not control my circumstances and my life, then everything will be fine. And if I do not understand His way of dealing with me, then I can learn a lot from Jesus, who fully trusted His Father.
We may have different fathers, but what is important to all of us, no matter what our own father was, that God wants to become our Father. And we – fathers, can learn a lot from Him. He can correct the image of the father that we received as a child, if necessary. We can learn from God how to be good fathers.