I will arise and go to my father (Luke 15:18). These words uttered by the Prodigal Son convey more than just a thought, plan or physical possibility. They speak to the hope he had, because of the relationship he had with his father. Whilst he was aware of his foolish actions, the negative consequences and his current awful position, he was also aware, that hope rested in returning to his father. Having a father, and especially one that could be approached and reasoned with even in the worst of situations, made the difference for him. The emotions of sadness and shame and possible feeling of worthlessness were all surpassed and kept suppressed by the hope held in the knowledge of the kind of man his father was. The situation was bad, but it would get better once he got back to his father.
As parents, (and our focus at this time is on our fathers) we are asked to play an incredible role in ensuring our children’s balanced development. As fathers we are to love them and be patient, we are to train them in the way of the Lord, put them before almighty God each day, show them kindness and discipline, not to provoke them to wrath and be ready to be that reassuring hope in times of fear and uncertainty.
In many verses of the Bible, human fathers are compared to our heavenly father (Duet 1:31; Psalms 103:13; Luke 11:11-13; Hebrews 12:7-11). Over and over again we are made to see that God is capable above our greatest imagination to love and care for us, His children. Over and over we are assured that He waits to be for us whatever we need, as long as we stay within His household and are guided by His rules. As fathers we have the awesome privilege to teach this structure to our children and develop within them the hope that they can come to us.
We fathers, have God as our example which we teach to our children, that they will become and be able to recognize good fathers. The hope that we can go to God when all else seems impossible, is the hope that we have the privilege of imparting to our children. Let us continue to go to our father and teach our children to do so too.