Before I forget, let me retroactively wish all of you reading this a Happy Father’s Day!
This year, we took inspiration from our Youth Group’s Mother’s Day service back in May (when they prepared a video of each of the kids sharing about their Moms) and opened the morning up for testimonies from people about their Dads (or “father figures”), and how God has used those men to bring them to where they’re at today.
I’d prepared a devotional that would be scalable in length, depending on how many (or how few) people actually shared... and I ended up chucking most of it because I only had a few minutes left in the service, since so many people got up to share about the men who’d impacted their lives.
As one person noted, perhaps the key thing shared by most of the people giving testimonies was the idea of “legacy” -- that it wasn’t just that these men had done nice things for us, or that they had even just taught us good things, but rather that there has been a genuine desire for people to carry on the legacy of the lives and lessons that people have invested into our own lives. It’s not enough just to enjoy the benefits that they have brought to us, or even just cherish the memories -- we should be changed by their lives, and try to live out those changes every day ourselves in our own relationships.
In the devotional afterwards, we ended up just interactively working to build the “perfect” Dad. I mean, if we could take all of the best bits from what everyone had shared, what would that Dad look like? So the qualities people suggested included being loving, being strong, being patient, being a teacher, being gentle, being available and involved, able to have fun, willing to own their own mistakes, etc. And then we noted how, in Scripture, we see that God has lived out every single one of those qualities perfectly... except owning His own mistakes (since He hasn’t made any).
So let’s stop for a moment and actively thank God for the fathers and/or father-figures that He’s brought into our lives. But then let’s also actively thank Him for being the perfect Father...