By Jim DeAngelo
This last Sunday was Father’s Day, and I found myself reflecting on my relationship with my father and also with my children. My father passed away from cancer when I was eleven, and I have fond memories of my time with him. My mother remarried, and my step-father proved to be abusive and controlling. My memories of those times are not pleasant, and the pain and suffering that came out of that for the entire family was broad and deep.
I thought about my relationship with Abba Father, about how profoundly He has changed my life over the last fifteen years after accepting Christ as Lord and Savior and, consequently, how He has changed the lives of my children. When my children were growing up, I worked hard to do a good job at being a parent, but found I fell very short. I provided, but didn’t spend the time nurturing them and growing my relationship as I should. My job often took me away for extended periods of time, and my relationships suffered. Yet the impact that Jesus had on my life and the relationship I now have with my Father in heaven through Christ has changed me. My heart was changed, and I became a relational father instead of a provider father. My children grew up and left home many years ago, but my relationship with them has continued to grow. This isn’t because my efforts made the difference, but it’s because my heart was changed and the effort was part of who I had become.
I couldn’t help spending time meditating on the profound impact my relationship with Jesus has changed my life and how my thoughts and understanding about Abba Father has changed, grown, and deepened. I was thankful, awed, and lifted. I praised Him for that change because of who I had become and the resulting impact on my family. Our Father in Heaven deserves our reverence, praise, and thanks.