November 14, 2023
The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13 NLT
The Father Filter is real. Fathers are so central in the development of children that their absence, neglect, abuse, or disinterest shapes the soul of a child so deeply that the influence pervades every other future relationship. What the father gave or didn’t give the child acts as a filter or “coloring agent” for other relationships. The child has a very difficult time making good choices because their experiences with their father figure did not give them what they need for health.
The mother in the home is very significant as well, and her own contributions or lack of them also serve as a filter and interpreter for future relationships. (Much work has been done on this subject about parental predictors for life and what you can do as a parent or child to adjust and change. Google Christian resources,)
Some important facts to remember when you consider this awesome, somewhat overwhelming opportunity/responsibility.
First, your premiere source of information, example, and support is your heavenly Father. He’s not the only one, of course, but connecting with other parents who are serving God and working toward the same goal as you is immensely helpful. Looking to God as your heavenly Father is a great first step. As you intentionally grow in Him, you learn how He loves and treats you; then you seek to repeat that with others, specifically the children in your life.
Second, love your children the way Jesus has loved you. John 13:34-35 records Jesus as giving us this one law to cover ALL the other laws—love others the way He loves us. That means tenderness and compassion, as Psalm 103 says. Even when we have to discipline our children, the tone and foundation is always the kind of understanding, empathetic love He gives us.
Third, the most effective training is always example. Jesus tells us to follow His example. He says that He Himself only did what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19). If we follow His example consistently, our children will be most likely to follow our example. Example is far more effective than words.
To fear the Lord means to respect Him and give Him His proper due. When that is our attitude toward God, it will impact our lives and we will be people our children can respect.
- Jesus, may I so follow Your example that my children are blessed to follow mine.