When someone mentions the word “Father” most of us think of our own dad. Growing up in the 80’s I remember the good ole mullets, jeans tighter than I’d care to admit, and my dad being along for the journey saying, “You need a haircut”. My dad was pretty strict on me growing up and unlike many of my friends, I had a curfew. I always thought that most all of the fun in the world happened after my 10:30pm curfew on Friday nights. It wasn’t until I was in my mid 20’s that I realized I wasn’t missing out on anything important and that my dad was right in having me home early (so I would stay out of trouble).
My dad taught me how to shoot guns, fish, throw a football, change the oil in my car, and much more. It seemed my dad knew just about everything about everything and wanted me to learn much more than I wanted to listen to. But one thing that really stood out to me growing up was that many of my friends didn’t have a dad. Just like today, many people grow up without a dad for one reason or the other. So when someone mentions a dad being a good father, they really don’t have a frame of reference to understand what that means.
Jesus told a story in Luke chapter 15 about a good father with two sons. His oldest son was hard working and responsible. The younger son was almost exactly the opposite of his older brother. In fact, the younger son wanted out of the house, so he asked his dad for his inheritance and went looking for adventure. This younger son spent his money partying, living the life he thought he wanted. But like so many people today, “living the life” isn’t quite what they dreamed it would be. Just like I found out that after 10:30pm, there wasn’t much I was missing out on – the younger son blew all of his money and found himself broke, sad and wishing he was one of his father’s hired servants. In fact, when he finally came to his senses he decided to go back and ask his father for a job as his servant.
Luke 15:20 NLT says, “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.”
This is what a good father looks like. Even though his son had messed up, done stupid things, wasted all of his money, he was looking for him to return. And when he saw him a long way off, he ran to him and embraced him. The younger son apologized and was trying to convince him to hire him, but the good father wasn’t interested in having another servant, he wanted his son back.
As we celebrate Father’s Day this month, let’s remember what a good father is like. Maybe you never had a dad growing up, or maybe your dad has passed away. Whatever the case may be, you have a Heavenly Father who loves you and wants to be a part of your life. The story Jesus told us in Luke 15 wasn’t just a story with no meaning. It was to explain how much God loves us and longs to have a relationship with us. He is a Good Father.
Chris Carter is the pastor at Movement Church, located in Downtown Celina on the Square. Services are on Sunday mornings at 10:30am. For more information, please visit their website at www.MovementChurch.faith