By Lynn Jones
A lot of gifts will be given to fathers on Father’s Day. One father was asked what he thought was the most common gift that is given to fathers on Father’s Day. He responded, “The bills from Mother’s Day.“
Perhaps so, but I do not want to write about gifts that fathers receive. I want to write about some gifts that fathers can give. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “If you, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that love him” (Matt. 7:11).
One of the things that our heavenly Father gives His children is an open door. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:8). The door is always open into our heavenly Father’s presence. He is never too busy for His children. If through prayer His children knock on His door, He always opens the door.
He is attentive to His children’s needs. He may not give you exactly what you want, but He always gives you exactly what you need. This openness and attentiveness to our children’s needs is what we earthly fathers ought to give our children.
It is interesting that Jesus said we can call God our “Father.” It is a powerful image. Will Campbell said, “Fathers are kinfolks. Kinfolks ask each other for things: give us some bread, something to eat. They don’t hold things against us. They forgive us, comfort and accept us, protect and defend us.”
That is what our heavenly Father does for us, and He is the model for us earthly fathers. We have been called to be as loving, as kind, and as giving as our heavenly Father.
Of course, no earthly father completely measures up to this model for fatherhood. We all sin and come short of His model, but we must continue to make progress toward becoming like Him.
Some small boys were having an argument about whose father was the greatest. One of them said, “My dad knows the mayor.” The second one said, “My dad knows the governor.” The third one said, “That’s nothing, my dad knows God.” No father is greater than the one who knows God.
Every day we should make it our aim to know Him better. As we know Him better, we will give to our children good gifts—not necessarily what they ask for, but what they need. We will give them the freedom to know that they can come to us at any time. Our door will always be open, and when they open the door, they will find love and acceptance. These are the best gifts that fathers can give.
Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.