I recently read something that said one’s relationship with their dad is often the same relationship they have with God. If you have a caring, loving, and nurturing relationship with your dad, you’re likely to have that same type of relationship with God. On the other hand, if you share a more strict and measured connection with your dad, that’s probably how you see God.
Do you agree?
I gotta say AMEN as the relationship I had with my dad before he passed away my senior year of college is somewhat similar to how I was raised to worship God. Born a cradle Catholic, my faith as a child and young adult was one of strict rules and a “because I said so” mentality. Same when it came to household rules and fatherly advice. I didn’t know why I believed certain things or why I had to obey and respect my dad, I just knew it’s what you did. I didn’t question. I didn’t doubt. I was okay with it and turned out relatively okay.
It wasn’t until my dad was up in heaven with our Father and I became a bill-paying adult and parent that I begin to grasp the whys and the hows. I was able to maturely consider just how much my dad sacrificed for me and how very much our Lord sacrificed for all of us. Today my relationship with God is much more personal and reflective yet still respectful and indebted.
In much the same way, our daughter’s relationship with God mimics her relationship with her dad. “I love him dearly. He provides for me and is always there for me but I’m not going to get all touch-feely about it all.” That, pretty much sums up her relationship with her father and with the Father. She knows she has a loving dad who is always there for her and a loving God who is too and she loves them both.
It is said that 80 percent of everything children learn in their first 12 years of life is done so through their eyes. To all you dads out there, what are your children seeing on a daily basis? Are they seeing respect and love or are they seeing distance and indifference? What are you allowing them to see on TV and social media? What events do you take them to and what behaviors do they see among you and your friends? The role of fathers in society has never been more crucial then now as we continue to see the growing and often tragic results of “stay away” dads. We have generations of kids without fathers or with an absence of fatherly figures. We blame society but we are society so it’s time to step up dads and men. All eyes on you!
In Spain and other countries, fathers are celebrated on the Feast of St. Joseph. The thought is St. Joseph is the perfect example of what a respectable father should be. He showed up. He supported. He loved. I like this idea and often times pray to St. Joseph for my husband, my dad, and other dads.
As we celebrate Father’s Day today, let’s honor all those dads who gave us life as well as those who show us how to live. Take a minute to not only appreciate them but also how to reflect on whether those relationships mimic your relationship with God. Then, pray for fathers everywhere by saying the “Our Father,” but do so with new eyes in the following way:
I cannot say “Our” if my life has no room for others and their needs
I cannot say “Father” if I do not believe in Him
I cannot say “who art in heaven” if all I care about are earthly things
I cannot say “hallowed by Thy name” if I use the Lord’s name in vain
I cannot say “thy kingdom come” if I don’t take time to pray
I cannot say “thy will be done” if I’m distrustful and anxious
I cannot say “on earth as it is in heaven” if I worry more about what others think of me than what God thinks of me
I cannot say “give us this day our daily bread” without giving to others first
I cannot say “forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” if I hold grudges and don’t forgive others
I cannot say “lead us not into temptation” if I stay in situations where I know I’ll be tempted
I cannot say “deliver us from evil” if I’m not spiritually prepared to fight the fight
I cannot say “for thine is the kingdom” if I don’t obey the commandants
I cannot say “thine is the power” if I’m unwilling to let Him control things rather than trying to control everything myself
I cannot say “thine is the glory” if I seek glory for myself first
I cannot say “Amen” unless I believe
Can I get an AMEN and a Happy Father’s Day?!