A Father’s Love

This life moves at a rate which can become a whirlwind at times, everything converging at once it can seem. However, there are a few moments in life that seem like time almost stops, each second lingering a little longer. Then just like that, we begin to feel time slip through our fingers once more.

This weekend I witnessed one of such moments, my father-in-law walking his youngest daughter down the aisle. Every hope he had for his daughter’s life lie right there weighty upon his heart, each step he and his daughter took down the aisle, a step closer to a new beginning. I saw each of those steps as a step of faith, each one hoping that he had prepared his daughter well enough, that he had shown her what it meant to love and be loved, a flurry of emotions flooding him as he trusted with each step that the future that stood in front of her be blessed and immersed in love. Then the question: “Who gives this woman to be wed?” the first commitment in the ceremony “I do”, and with that my father-in-law returned to his seat next to his companion, his friend, his bride, to witness the marriage of their youngest daughter. His part complete.

Witnessing that moment made me long to be a good father for my own children; I desire to be an example of love lived out. It is not easy. Each moment in this life we have a choice to make, which voice will I follow? Will I listen to love, even when it interrupts my day? Will I let bitterness take root, because I feel that it is justified, or will I deny it? The world is waiting for fathers who know the worth of their children. In John 12:29 Jesus stated, “For I have never spoken on My own initiative or authority, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment regarding what to say and what to speak.” I long to live in this place that Jesus speaks of, to know that as I speak it is what God is speaking, I know God to be a good, good father, and I long to live as He would have me to.

Tonight, driving home from an emotion packed weekend, I felt God lead me to speak to my son Liam. He is an amazing three-year-old in awe of the world around him. We had a meeting to attend and he reluctantly stayed with the sons of our friends. When I left he was frustrated and crying, but when we picked him up we were told he had a great time. God nudged me when I began to drive home, to thank Liam. So, I simply told him “I know it was hard when I asked you to stay, but I want to thank you for making the best of it.” He looked up and smiled and said a heartfelt “thank you Daddy.”

God used this one moment to move my heart a little closer to His. I thought of the times that I knew God was asking me to do something and I would fight it, but in those moments whenever I gave up the fight I could see the blessing and rest once again in His promises. This lesson echoed by my simple obedience to tell a little boy thank you, hearing his appreciation, I heard the same peace I experience with my Heavenly Father.

We have in this moment set before us the opportunity to choose Life, a holy covenant, to yield to God when we lose strength, to love relentlessly in sickness and in health, for rich or for poor, in joy and in sorrow. Today choose the Life God has stretched out for you, thirst for it, allow love to take root, and know that we have a Heavenly Father who is preparing His sons and daughters, showing them what it means to love and be loved. As parents, leaders, students, Christians we have the opportunity to choose life to show the Love of God, to demonstrate the very nature of Heaven. Place yourself in that father’s shoes, walking his daughter down the aisle, know that your time is a gift, c. John 13: 34-35 “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”

Ben Shetterly
Flip 180 Tween Pastor

2 thoughts on “A Father’s Love

  1. Tears flowing….I’m not only moved by the fact that this incredible man and father is married to one of my favorite people amd that God hand picked you perfectly for her but also by the insight and wisdom that I am moved to walk closer to God. To dwell on my relationship with him and the choices I make and that they will reflect my faithfulness. Thank you dear Ben. You are loved and treasured and your beautiful soul is a light in the world!

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