Last Sunday, June 17th, we celebrated Father’s Day as a congregation in the WIMO West Centre. Pastor Jong preached about the importance of the role of a father, with the teaching titled Like Father, like son. His preaching focused on the duties of fathers to bring up their children on the path of righteousness and to show them who their Heavenly Father is. The main passage and the one that stood out to me the most was John 17:6-8 (NIV)
6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
I personally haven’t seen my dad since I was twelve years old. Growing up, I saw my dad abuse various substances, and this caused him to act abruptly and make very irrational decisions. It was difficult, especially seeing my mom trying to fulfill two roles as a parent – as a mother, and as a compensation for the father I should have had, but I was always amazed at how physically and mentally strong she was. Through all the pain and terror of growing up in a broken home and as my earthly father slipped out of our lives, all the more God revealed Himself to me as my Heavenly Father. God truly protected me and my family from my father’s actions and irrationality. Looking back now at these struggles, I can really see how amazing God is with how He kept my mother strong and how He sustained me and my brother during these tough times.
Pastor Jong mentioned in his preaching that it should be a dad’s greatest priority should be to reveal the Father (God) to his children. Unfortunately, my earthly father was not able to fulfill this God-given duty, but instead of growing in angst and bitterness, God Himself, through my mother, taught me what it meant to be a good son and to stay on the path of righteousness as I grow in the wisdom and truth of Christ Jesus. Even to this day, despite all the things I had been through, I am still so amazed and so thankful for God’s presence in my life as my Father.
Despite my lack of an earthly father, God revealed Himself to me as a true Father so many times in my life – through the strength of my mother, being surrounded by a loving family in Christ, and above all, knowing that I am never alone. Through this, I learned that you don’t need a good father to be a good son. All you need is God’s love and grace to understand what fatherhood and sonship are. Only then can you be successful – whether you’re a father or a son.
– Jerard Flores