A Father’s Role as Image Bearer

Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. Exodus 18:19-20 (ESV)

God did not create human fathers, realize they were like Him, and decide to call Himself our Father. On the contrary, He created marriage and family to communicate not only Christ’s love for His church, but also the Father and Son’s love for each other.

When a child looks at His earthly father, He should be able to see the qualities of God. Though an earthly father is flawed, His likeness to the Father should be enough to instill in a child the proper fear and love for God. It is part of our nature to judge what we cannot see in light of what we can.

Consider how a child thinks: If my father loves and cares for me, then God loves and cares for me. If my father means what he says, then God means what He says. If my father would die for me, God would die for me.

On the other hand, if their earthly father is harsh or distant, then what will children think when someone says “God is your Father”? Based on what they know of a father, how will they view God?

Some readers of this blog are not fathers, but are mentors of boys or girls. Every parent needs to look for godly mentors to reinforce the training of their children. If you don’t look for the right mentors, your children may find themselves drawn to ungodly, influential people.

When I was in eighth grade I had a football coach who was tough, but kind. When school photos came out, he signed one for me that said “To my favorite ball player.”

I must have reread that sentence a thousand times over the next five years. I can still see every stroke of every letter in my mind’s eye. I can’t tell you what his spiritual beliefs were. But I can tell you that if he had shared them with me I would have listened to every word he said. 

Photo by Pauline Loroy on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries