The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. (Psalm 103:13)
As another Father’s day approaches, today we celebrate those figures of strength that in some capacity have helped to develop us into the people we are today. I pray that for those of you who are blessed to have someone to call father-whether by adoption, biologically or spiritually, you will have time to reflect on the gift that it truly is. There are plenty of sons and daughters that have a deep positive connection when they think about their father. They feel a deeper connection that goes far beyond the title. But there are also those who do not. Whatever side of the spectrum you find yourself on know that you have a Dad that cares for you.
While we call this special day Father’s day, as I have been reflecting on the term father- I believe we should distinguish there is a difference between a father and a dad. A popular article reported by The Daily Republic reported by on June 17 2012 posed a question about the difference between a father and dad. Authors Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar go into details about the disparities:
A father is someone who believes that by donating his sperm for your creation, he has done his duty in life. A dad is someone who gets up every day and does whatever he can to put a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food on your table. He might have to dig ditches, flip hamburgers, deliver pizzas, work in a factory — or all of the above. He might not own a suit and tie. He teaches the value of hard work not because he’s looking for help mowing the lawn, but because he knows idleness leads to trouble. He realizes his job is to make his children productive citizens, and to do that, he can’t always be his child’s friend.
In the article they discuss what appear to be differences in connection to the child. There is a greater love for the children with a dad. This is not to say that the father does not play an important role in the child being born. However, the true relationship is developed by the one who is called dad. I know we call it Father’s day and I am not attempting to start a movement to change the national holiday, I just want to bring attention to the privilege of having not just a father but being able to call him Dad.
In Psalm 103:13, King David has learned and wrote about some of the benefits of having a dad, in his later years of life. He is expressing the things about the love of a father. Not just an actual biological father but a spiritual Dad that cares so much about us. The Dad we see here and His representation cannot be matched. David wants us to know of the ultimate Dad who goes above the call of duty for His children.
A child that is loved and cared for is a blessed child. David begins Psalms 103 with an overly grateful heart by saying let all that I am praise the Lord. That is the amount of love he has for the Lord God almighty. What words for a dad to hear from his children. That everything in David he wanted to express to the Lord. The spiritual benefits of our heavenly Dad alone are amazing. He forgives our sins, heals our diseases, redeems us from death, crowns us with love and tender mercy, fills our life with good things and renews us when we know him. Oh the relationship that is established between David and God he could not just keep it to himself. I believe David created the best Father’s day card in the history of man when He pinned this Psalm.
I am thinking about my own Dad and how instrumental he is in my life. My dad stuck by me at some of the most difficult moments. I must confess some of which were my own doing. But even in those times he was with me, showing tough but unconditional love. He still was my Dad. The lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love (vs 8) is a wonderful depiction of attributes of a good Dad. Our loving Dad that so graciously sent His son Jesus and gave us the greatest gift of sacrifice known.
All dads need to cherish their children. And in return the children should hopefully recognize and love their dad. This day may be great because your earthly father is active in your life or perhaps it brings pain because he was not there, whichever the case we can look at the blessing in Psalm 103 that David pinned for us. In expressing the love of a Dad to all of His children from the One who created you and me. All the ways the Lord expresses unconditional love for us and continues to do. We can be thankful today.
To the fathers that are reading this, as you move throughout your day Fathers reflect on how much of a Dad you are. Most importantly, we all can reflect on how much the Lord has been a Dad to us and not just Our Father. I challenge you today to spread this message to at least one person about the privilege of being more than just a father.
Happy Fathers Day,