“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will you Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11 NIV
Today is a day we in Western culture set aside to honor and celebrate fathers. Many good fathers have a multitude of traits worth celebrating. Today I would like to focus on the trait of grace.
Grace defined by thefreedictionary.com is “A disposition to be generous or helpful, goodwill. Or a favor rendered by one who need not do so; indulgence; a temporary immunity or exemption; a reprieve.”
How often you extend grace? How often do you receive grace from others?
The story of the prodigal son reminds us of how deep grace can run, when extended from a loved one.
The prodigal son was a selfish, thoughtless child who wanted his independence, and wanted it now. No waiting for his inheritance. He had the audacity to request it now, and amazingly, his father granted his wish.
After his son ran off and squandered everything he’d been given, he found himself friendless, homeless, and hungry. He realized his father’s servants were better off than he was. He experienced a change in heart. He decided to humbly head home, asking for a position among the servants.
While he was still outside earshot, his father caught sight of his long-lost son returning. Immediately he went, calling out preparations and excitement to all surrounding him. He was happy to have his son back, period. He did not know the current state of his heart. He did not know the plans in his mind. He knew that the son he loved had finally returned.
He was extending grace.
How many fathers in the same situation might have turned their backs, saying, “you got your chance, and you lost it. Live with your choices.”
But this dad didn’t. This dad showed the grace of God by welcoming his son back with open arms.
Parenting isn’t easy. Most dads shoulder the financial responsibility of raising a family. They work jobs they hate. They hear complaints from their bosses, complaints from their wives, and complaints from their kids. And for the really involved dad who attends the Parent/Teacher conference or sports practice, they often hear negative things there too.
Yet, there are a few good men who continually model the grace of Jesus. They refuse to see everything in a negative light. While it is prudent to allow our children to experience the consequences of their actions, it is also godly to extend grace.
The prodigal son returned home with a changed heart. All that his father offered him upon his return, he knew he did not deserve. He saw how his dad loved him. And in turn, he glimpsed just how greatly his heavenly Father loved him.
To the fathers out there doing their best to provide for a family, and teach their kids about the grace of God, a roaring THANK YOU!
Today’s families need your example.
The world, who is always watching, also needs your example.
And you need to hear that your actions are seen.
Your words are heard.
And your heartbeat for Jesus is felt.
Thank you, fathers of grace, for extending not only the grace of God, but His love to a hurting world.
How has extended grace impacted me?
How has the grace I have extended impacted others?
Dear Lord, Thank You so much for the grace You have extended to me. May I recall it as I plow through my days, with the hurts and complaints vying for my attention. May my words and actions honor You and my heart mimic Yours. Amen.
Thanks for reading! Please return by Monday, June 29 for the next post.