December 10 2015
Principal’s Message Dec. 9, 15
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
Being a father is one of the most wonderful things. I have the immense privilege of being the father of three amazing children and because I love them I want to be the best possible father for them. Fathers are a very important part of any child’s life, and in fact, a father can have a much higher impact on a child’s development in some areas than even their mother. Research shows the following:
Girls with involved fathers have higher self-esteem, and teenage girls who are close to their dads are less likely to become pregnant. Boys show less aggression, less impulsivity, and more self-direction. As young adults, children of involved fathers are more likely to achieve higher levels of education, find success in their careers, have higher levels of self-acceptance and experience psychological well-being. Adults who had involved fathers are more likely to be tolerant and understanding, have supportive social networks made up of close friends, and have long-term successful marriages.
Jesus used ‘Father’ more than any other name for God. Some have assumed that by using that term Jesus is helping us understand God by comparing him to how our human fathers act. But actually, the associations are reversed: God is the ultimate example of a good father. Earthly fathers do their best when they consider how God is our father, and then they copy His example.
Below I want to highlight some of the amazing ways in which God shows us how to father our children in the best way possible:
God loves. God is holy, just and fair, but his most outstanding quality is love. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). If we want to know how to love our children then the best thing we can do is to look at how God loves us and emulate His example. In this it is great to have the Bible to show us what love is: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
God created the universe and knows us personally. One of the great mysteries is that God is so big that He created the whole universe, and at the same time He knows and cares for each and every one of us personally. Our children rely on us to create things for them, provide them with homes and everything they need in their day. However, if we do this at the expense of having a personal relationship with our children then we are not being good fathers.
God set a plan in place. God created the world and He has a plan for it. We know that when we follow God and do His will then good things happen. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Similarly our children need to be able to trust that we have a good plan in place for our families and for them as individuals. Through this children learn that even if they do not like something, that they can trust that ultimately it is good for them. They might not like doing homework, but if they can trust that you think it is important as it is part of a good plan that you have for their lives, then they will be much more willing to do it.
God is just yet merciful. While God sets a plan in place for our lives, we have all fallen short and chosen not to follow Him at one stage or another. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). However, God always makes a way for us to be forgiven. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Similarly our children will sometimes do the wrong thing. When they do this we have two choices as to how to act; we can punish our children and push them away from us, or we can help them to chose to be sorry for what they have done and bring them back so that they are in a close relationship with us. The second option, whereby our children draw closer to us through being forgiven, is exactly how God shows us His love. This does not mean that there are no con-sequences to the child’s actions, but it does mean that through everything they know that they are loved.
Through following the example of the ultimate father, we can be the best fathers for our children. Unfortunately, some of us have not been lucky enough to have good fathers who have shown us how God loves us through their actions. Because of this we can find it difficult to understand God’s fatherly love fully. If you struggle with this then I can recommend a great book by Floyd McClung called “The Father Heart of God”. Information about this book can be found at: https://books.google.com.hk/books?id=E5-y8XNL4ZkC&redir_esc=y