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Describing Dad


Bowler. Baseball fan. Good. Kind. Provider. Reliable. Secure. 

These are a few of the descriptions that come to mind when I think about my dad. As I ponder these adjectives, I remember my artist friend, Gail, who creates portraits with words instead of brushstrokes. Her art is fantastic. What was once a list of attributes now seem to flow together effortlessly as they frame the face, become the upturned mouth, and run playfully along the jawline–culminating in a one-of-a-kind personal masterpiece.

I wonder if this could be a way to view our Heavenly Father, too? What would that portrait convey? What characteristics of God would you give her in a list? Perhaps Creator. Judge. Kind. King. Provider. Reliable. Savior. 

I see some of the same words on this list, like the one I originally made about my earthly dad, and while I know his good qualities are but a small reflection of God, I am thankful for the resemblance.

We are created in the image of God, so there should be a familiarity in the traits we see in our families. 

The Bible is a surprisingly artful instruction manual encompassing our history, story, and future. It includes poetry, songs, and advice on daily life. It’s the ultimate love note and the most practical how-to guide that has ever been penned.

The Bible was written by 40 different authors, for over 1,500 years, across three different continents and in three different languages. Yet, despite being curated with so many differences, each of the manuscripts contains one primary theme–the redemption of humanity through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Its accuracy has been verified through archeology, geography, history, and science. The number of fulfilled prophecies dispels all theories of chance or mere coincidence. Indeed, it is an amazing text.

But what about modern, practical advice? Does the Bible offer a parenting model? It does. The brief list below is just a small sampling of topics that are covered within its pages.
■ Authority (Romans 13:1-7)
■ Finances (see the April issue)
■ How to raise a child (Proverbs 22:6)
■ Respect (1 Peter 2:17)
■ Understanding discipline (Hebrews 12:3-17)
■ And oh, so many hands-on pieces of good, solid advice in the book of Proverbs. 

Try reading one every morning and aim to live the way God tells us. 

However, we all know that parenting is hard, and even good dads can make mistakes. We are all human at the end of the day. So, how does dad know if he’s doing it right?

From this daughter’s perspective, perhaps having a good father is as simple as knowing the unconditional love of someone whom I can trust with my heart. Someone who promises never to leave or forsake me. (Deuteronomy 13:8) 

That’s who God is. He is the multi-faceted Father I get to spend an eternity getting to know, the very definition and description of love. 

He is also the one who invented fathers, including mine, whom I adore. He is that handsome green-eyed man who prefers his shirts with pockets and his radio tuned to the afternoon ball game.

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21 May 2021


By Sharon Holeman

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