By Melissa McLaughlin
An Umbrella of Love
As a young married couple, sadness like a crushing wave swept over us when my father-in-law passed away before our first child was born. My husband described the loss of his dad like an umbrella of love and protection that was abruptly ripped away.
When trudging through a heavy rainstorm, an umbrella keeps us safe and dry from the drenching downpours that could otherwise soak us and leave us shivering in the cold.
A father’s love for his children is like a protective umbrella, deflecting the full force of the storms of life.
The Love of a Father
We recognize that no dad is perfect, just as no human being is perfect. However, for those who have been blessed with a loving earthly father, thinking of God as our heavenly and eternal Father seems a natural concept. Tragically, some have not experienced an earthly example of fathering protection or care and must learn from scratch the protective and purifying love of God the Father.
Whether you have been raised by a Christlike dad, adoptive dad, stepdad, foster dad, grandfather, uncle, mentor or spiritual dad, may we look to God’s Word, to know the fullness of who God is as our Father in heaven.
A Heavenly Father
Jesus taught us to pray like this, “Our Father who art in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9-13) also referred to as the Lord’s Prayer or Model Prayer. In this passage, Jesus demonstrated an understanding of God as Father, One who loves us with a parental love. At the same time our Father God is also in heaven, reminding us He is transcendent, outside of His creation, Holy and above us in every way. A Heavenly Father.
In Mark 14:36, when Jesus prayed to the Father while in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus used the words “Abba, Father.” Abba is Aramaic for “father”. A term of endearment, affection, honor and intimacy.
The God of all creation invites us, the mere work of His hands, to call Him Father. We are called by our Creator to draw near, through the blood of Jesus which cleanses us. When we believe in Christ as Savior and LORD, we are born again of His Spirit. We are transformed from creatures, small parts of God’s creation, into sons and daughters of the Most High God!
Praying for Men and Fathers
Earthly father figures are a gift from our Heavenly Father. Let us pray today for all the father figures in our lives out of gratitude for the ways they have blessed our lives.
If you were raised by a biological father, adoptive father, stepfather, foster father, grandfather, uncle or spiritual father… or if there are Godly men in your life who demonstrate God’s “Abba Father” love to you… or if you have a husband, brother, uncle, son or mentor… or if you are a father, pray these blessings over yourself!
Through our prayers, may the men in our lives be called to draw near our Heavenly Father, to receive the fullest blessing of His truth and love, that they may exhibit the Father’s love to our world. I invite you to pause now and pray aloud these 10 scripture blessings over the fathers and men in your life.
10 Scripture Blessings for Fathers
1.Numbers 6:24-26 – The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (ESV)
2.Proverbs 20:7 – The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him. (NKJV)
3.Deuteronomy 1:30-31 – The Lord your God, who goes before you, will Himself fight for you, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, on all of the road which you have walked until you came to this place. (NASB)
4.Proverbs 23:22 – Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. (ESV)
5.Psalm 1:1-3 – Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. (ESV)
6.Deuteronomy 6:4-7 – “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (ESV)
7.Ephesians 6:1-3 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (ESV)
8.Proverbs 3:11-12 – My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (NIV)
9.Psalm 103:13-18 – As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. (ESV)
10.John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV)
Picture of Dad and me!