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<< Then & Now for Teens, with Dan Darling

Then & Now - Week of June 22

  • 2009 Jun 22

"Embrace Your Father"
James 1:17

So yesterday was Father's Day. I hope you did something nice for your Dad. I'm a Dad now and I always appreciate my little Grace and Dan Jr. Dan Dr. is old enough (8 months) to say "Dada." Grace, at 4, says, "You're the best Dad in the whole world." I like that too.

I grew up with a great Dad. He's still a great Dad. Hardworking, faithful, loving, selfless, caring. Those are just a few of the words that describe Dad. He's known in the community as a man of impeccable character. I've always said that my goal is to be half the man he is—which would put me in the top 1% of men everywhere.

What I love most about Dad is that Dad loves God with all his heart. He pointed me to a love of God. I hope to continue that tradition with my kids. I hope one day they say they saw a glimpse of Christ in me. (I've got a long way to go on that one.)

I realize though, that not every child grew up as I did. Most have a complicated relationship with their father. They seem him as abusive, alcoholic, angry, absent.

This relationship clouds their view of their Heavenly Father, God. This is sad, because the Heavenly Father is everything an earthly father is not. The Heavenly Father is merciful, kind, gracious, giving, just. He is forgiving, loving, generous and approachable. He calls us His children and He offers security and rest.

I once heard pastor, Erwin Lutzer of Moody Church say, "You're relationship with your father is the most important relationship in the world." I believe that's true. You see God thru your father.

But God wants to change your view of Him. He wants you to know Him for who He really is. He did the ultimate thing in reconciling Himself to you. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to bridge the gap between our sin and God's righteousness. His love made a way.

Father's Day may be over, but your continuing relationship with your Heavenly Father is just beginning. Take time today to let it blossom and grow into something special.

Daniel Darling is an author and pastor with a passion for young people. He is the author of Teen People of the Bible, a 100-day devotional for teens. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, or at