Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

The Father himself loves you

My father was a man with high principles and good intentions, but a short fuse. And when he blew up, he would stay angry for days while my mother and I tip-toed around to avoid further aggravating him. He was never physically violent, but the verbal abuse was just as damaging.

It happened again one day after I was grown up and married. My father blew up and poured out his invective in loud, angry tones. After it was over I found a quiet place, knelt down and asked “Why can’t I have a better father?” The answer was immediate: “But you do. You have a perfect Father.”

My heavenly Father has often reminded me of the reality of His love in the following years. There are many verses in the Bible to tell me of the Father’s love, but I am not thinking here of a theoretical or doctrinal knowledge of His love. There have been times when He spoke to me, not in an audible voice, yet it was clear and unmistakable.

One time was during a series of revival meetings. The preaching was powerful and soul-searching; brothers and sisters around me were confessing their faults and their struggles. I wanted to be honest and open-hearted and allow the Lord to “search me, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me.” The answer I received was: “the most important thing you need to know right now is that I love you just the way you are.”

I have seen fellow believers struggle to find something to repent of so that they can believe that God is satisfied with them. That is bondage. I have observed others who try to prove to their unbelieving friends that they can do all the things they do and still be a Christian. This is also bondage. And then there are those who believe that God loves them because they are better people than the ungodly people around them. This is deception.

I am no better than anyone else — there is still something within me that sides with the tempter. And sometimes I slip, because of carelessness, impatience or other weaknesses common to man. But I also have a heavenly Father who warns me when I am about to slip and helps me get back up when I do slip.

None of us have had perfect fathers; I certainly have not been a perfect father. Some fathers are better than others, and some children have no father at all. Whatever the situation, we can find comfort and healing in knowing the heavenly Father who loves us, knows our sorrows and our needs and will be with us all the way through our life.

John 16:27:  For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

2 responses to “The Father himself loves you

  1. Heather Cai February 9, 2015 at 08:05

    This is an emotional moving story I enjoy reading. For my father, I have many stories to tell too. As misfortunes went by, my father made many changes himself. He beat the hell out of me with a dust pan when I was young, now he loves me deeply.

  2. Bob Goodnough February 9, 2015 at 11:19

    Sometimes we men are still growing up when we become fathers. I think some men never grow up, but many of us see the pain that we have inflicted on our children and that moves us toward maturity and responsibility.

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