“..Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” John 14:9b
Jesus came to reveal the Father – His heart, His person, His thoughts.
I was watching this father who was about to cross the road, with his toddler boy in his arms. And I felt this thought impress upon me – the father is the visible representation of the Father. Such is the mandate and responsibility bestowed upon the father figure. Fathers represent who God the Father is. Their children look up to them for love, security, guidance/direction, engagement. They relate to others as how their fathers would relate to them. Hence, when we read about children verbally or physically abusing others at school, it is a reflection of what has transpired or accepted as a norm at home.
It is a call, a high calling indeed – to be a father to reflect the Father. And there is no better way than to ask Him to reveal His heart to us. We can only steward this father-child relationship well by knowing the Father’s heart better. This way, every engagement we have with our children is ministry that comes out of the revelation of His ways, thoughts, and desires.
Even when it comes to disciplining or discipling our children – the engagement is deliberate and thoughtful, not birthed out of a place of frustration or anger, which negates how the Father is to be represented. Disciplining children also requires us to do so out of the place of stewardship of the Father’s heart unto our children. When it comes to disciplining my daughter, I would explain myself clearly and gently before administering the rod. Of course, she does not like the stinging pain, but she understands her mistakes and acknowledges them quickly. Does it mean she is thereafter perfect and unlikely to commit the same error? No. In the same manner, we too, as imperfect as we are, now need to swap out our roles as parents/fathers/mothers, and put ourselves in the shoes of a child when God disciplines us – especially when it is the umpteenth time we commit the same error.
In this journey with Christ, it is an endeavour to reflect who He is to the world, and the more we receive a revelation of His heart, the greater our humility in grasping our own weaknesses, and the greater the grace we now minister out of, to others.