I have a confession to make – I am not a native Texan. But as the bumper sticker reads, “I got here as quick as I could.” I was actually born and grew up in Missouri, the “Show Me State”. There are a lot of stories on the unofficial slogan for my home state. They all suggest that Missourians are seen as “somewhat stubborn and have a dedication to common sense.” In Missouri, actions definitely speak louder than words.
With a new ball and glove, the boy said, “Show me how to throw Dad!” The dad could have taken the boy inside and explained the grip needed along with the arm angle, extension and follow through for throwing a baseball properly. Or he could do what every coach knows works best, simply provide the right example of throwing mechanics for the boy to mirror. This is true in life as well - what earthly fathers do, mirrors the Heavenly Father in their children’s eyes. If a dad is engaging, God is seen as approachable; If a dad is abusive, God is seen as a father they do not want to talk to; and, If a dad is absent, God is seen as inaccessible. This is conveyed powerfully in the Kendrick brothers’ new film, SHOW ME THE FATHER. A must see! Opening in theaters September 10th, 2021.
“If you really know Me, you will know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said, “Show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered, “Don’t you know Me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and that the Father is in Me? – John 14:7-10. Jesus, interacting with Thomas and Philip here explained that He had been mirroring His Father with every step He took in ministry. As Son of God and Son of Man, Jesus accepted responsibility to honor His Father by reflecting the Father in everything He did with His disciples. In the process, Jesus reconnected what got disconnected in the garden of Eden for all of us – relationship with the Father. Similarly, dads have the responsibility to show kids the Father through Jesus the Christ. All kids have a fathering void to some degree in their heart because all dads fall short of the glory of God. Faithful fathers accept responsibility to reflect the triune nature of God through physical presence, emotional engagement and spiritual leadership. In the process, kids will see the Father and He will fill whatever voids exist. Do your kids know the Father because they know you?
The dad indeed showed his son the proper mechanics for throwing a baseball and they enjoyed many years together on the ball field. The dad also showed his son the importance of reading the Bible, praying, going to church and Sunday school, volunteering to help others in need and having spiritual discussions between Sundays. The boy embraced a relationship with Jesus, was baptized and is now on his own journey with the Father.
Prayer guide: Lord, I thank You for Your Word and Your example. I confess that I did not mirror You well as a young dad. Forgive me. I know the kids will catch what I have. Help me mature in faith, in marriage and family so that what I have is worth catching. Grant me the discipline and boldness to show You to my kids every day. That is the dad You call me to be and that is the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father mirrors the Heavenly Father in the lives of his kids.