I was privileged to grow up with a great Father. Even though I came from a family of seven siblings, dad regularly took time to talk to me, teach me about life, and give me fatherly advice. I fondly remember Saturday morning chats during my teenage and college years. It really gave me a great start in life.
A dad’s guidance of right from wrong, faith in God, the importance of family, is so important to the success of a child’s life. Being a Father is so much more than simply having a child with someone. If every dad really thought about the legacy he would leave behind, his life would be lived quite differently.
Proverbs 13:22 reads, "A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children..." (NIV)
I found that the word Father: ‘pater’ (in Greek) is from a root word signifying: "A Nourisher, Protector, and Upholder." The word father is not merely a title but a function.
Notice that the above verse from Proverbs defines who is a good man; it does not focus on the title or the fact that he is a biological father. Instead, the emphasis is on the inheritance. I believe the inheritance mentioned in this verse isn’t about money, I believe it’s talking about the legacy a man leaves in the lives of his children and others he has the privilege of affecting.
When you look back at your childhood, teen years and young adulthood, how do you feel about the legacy your father seeded into your life? If your father was less than ideal, if he was overstressed, worked too much or spent little time with you – do you feel a sense of loss? It’s perfectly normal.
What if your father was abusive, physically or emotionally? If he belittled you and caused you to doubt your value, you probably feel more than loss. There’s a space in your heart that never knew the nourishment and protection you were supposed to receive. It isn’t easy walking through life with a gaping void where a father’s love was meant to dwell.
Here’s some good news. The loving support you missed early on has certainly influenced your life and caused you pain – but there is a way to fill the void. There is a Father who longs to love and protect you – even now as an adult – even now as you may be a mother or father yourself.