Posted by: Jo | June 14, 2013

In Praise of Fathers

“Listen to your father, who gave you life…” (Proverbs 23:22)

image When I was a small child, my family lived on the east coast of Australia. The area was known for its beautiful beaches and my Grandmother had a holiday cottage beside one of the most beautiful ones. The beach stretched for miles and consequently the waves rolled to shore with majestic frequency. In those days this idyllic place was only known to a few hardy souls who could stand to drive on the very primitive road that lead to it. My sisters and brother considered the beach and the surrounding rocks and rock pools to be our very own property.

I was reminded of this time of my life just recently when I was searching through our old photo albums for a special picture for one of my daughters and came across one of my father on this favourite beach. My father was a very special person who took seriously his role as the provider and protector of his family. We were always expected to follow the rules he had set down for us but did so out of respect rather than fear. The best example of following my father’s rules was the beach procedure. The aforesaid beach, beautiful to be sure, was a very dangerous place for the unwary. The powerful waves created surging currents which we referred to as rips. These rips could suck back the unsuspecting swimmer way out to sea.

The beach procedure was always the same. My father, a very strong swimmer, would spend quite a long time surveying the waves, before deciding on the safest part for us all to swim. Next he and only he would swim out to test the waters. When he was satisfied it was safe we were allowed to enter the water. The other rule was simple, we had to always be exactly behind him so if he tuned his head he could quickly count the four heads. I can still remember seeing those broad shoulders glistening wet in the sun and having supreme confidence that as long as we stayed exactly in his sight we would be safe. One memorable day my brother and I became so engrossed in some game we were playing on the edge of the water we had drifted down the beach and had neglected to check for those huge shoulders. image If I close my eyes I can still feel that terrible rush of fear we both felt as we suddenly realized we could no longer see him. The beach now no longer a fun place became a place of uncertainty. Relief flooded over us as our father emerged like a great fish out of the water to take us back to safety. We may have forgotten to check on him, but he had certainly not forgotten to keep his eye on us (we lost our swimming privileges for a whole day!)

Jesus Christ conferred the greatest honour upon us by allowing us to call our creator, “Father” when he taught us to pray;

“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name.” (Matthew 6:9)

We can confidently think of ourselves in his loving care. When we accept that living under his guidance and always keeping him before us, is the way to live life abundantly

Our Heavenly Father is always ready to go before us to test the waters and to guide us in those times when our lives seem to be like turbulent seas. Focusing on his commands keeps us out of trouble. He knows what could suck us under like the rips on the beach and sweep us away from him and even when we stray away from his protection, he is always there to carry us back to safety.

imageFathers can have such a profound impact on their children’s lives which can sometimes be overlooked. Father’s Day gives us a chance to focus on how important their role can be. It’s a day for fathers to reclaim their role of guides, protectors and role models for their children. When fathers model their parenting on that of Our Heavenly Father they are preparing their children for a deeper understanding of the loving character of God.

Happy Father’s Day!


  1. We were very fortunate to have Narold and Alec guiding and protecting us , as does our heavenly Father, Thank you Jo.


  2. I liked the story Mum. It’s funny to think of Grandpa Deg as a young man. Now Declan will feel the same way about Dad. Great blog!


  3. Irma bombick wrote once that when she played house she didn’t know where to put the father doll so she stuck him under the bed! Then when her own father died she grieved and missed him terribly…he may have been in the background, but she had never realized how much of a protector and a presence he had been. We need to acknowledge how very important they are and allow them to fulfill the role that God the father gave them.


  4. I agree- we have to give fathers more credit than they are getting. I know that there all kinds of criticisms of fathers, but give the ones who are there more credit, and don’t treat father’s day as a token day.


  5. Marvellously beautiful and loving!


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