Greatest Fathers of All Time
Once upon a time I lied in his arms, sat on his lap, held his hand, followed him wherever he went if I could get away with it (hooking my ring forefinger on the back belt loop of his trousers). Even until I was in my early 20s I would wake up in the mornings with my first thought was to look for him and drop by his office once a week to have a lunch date with him. He has always been a provider, spoiler, selfless, doting, thoughtful, generous (to a fault), and loving father to me and to my brothers. My dad isn’t perfect, of course. He has his flaws, just like we all do. But like all little girls, I believed my dad is the best dad that I could ever have. I still do.
If we look at the Bible, the first admirable father we will note would be Abraham, who was the father of an entire nation. Such was the mission God gave Abraham and he had tremendous faith, passing one of the most difficult tests God ever gave a anyone — to sacrifice his own son if that was God’s will. Naturally, Abraham had his share of mistakes, but these occurred when he relied on himself instead of God. Nonetheless, he personified qualities that any father should strive to acquire.
Then there was Moses, who had two sons, Gershom and Eliezer, but also served as a father figure to the Hebrews as they fled from slavery and Egypt. On their 40-year journey to the Promised Land, he gave them the love and discipline they all needed. Fathers are shown through his example that seemingly daunting tasks and responsibilities can be done as long as we have God on our side.
A special favourite of God was David, who also struggled a great deal. His trust in and faith in God helped him defeat the giant Goliath and aided him when he was running away from King Saul. David was a great sinner, too, but he was remorseful and penitent, so God forgave him. As a father, he certainly showed a great example to his son, Solomon, who became one of Israel’s greatest kings.
My personal favourite Biblical father, though, is St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus Christ. He maybe one of the most underrated dads in the Bible, but his strong faith in God helped him continue to take Mary as his wife and protect her and the baby Jesus. Joseph also taught Jesus how to be a good carpenter, how to live a good and ordinary life, and to care for one’s family and be of help to others. Joseph is referred to in the Bible as a a righteous man. His honesty, quiet strength, integrity, and kindness were the examples Jesus had of a father.
The perfect, supreme role model for all dads is God the Father, the first Person of the Holy Trinity, the father and creator of all. His great love, kindness, patience, wisdom, and protectiveness surpass anyone’s and can be intimidating to live up to. But since he is a loving God, he is also a forgiving and understanding one. Jesus showed how we can relating to God the Father in a new, intimate way. How all fathers and their relationships with their children should be.
Fathers Day is celebrated every 1st Sunday of September in New Zealand and my kids and I lauded my husband (whom I would have to admit can give my dad a run for his money when it comes to parenting) that day. Alas, I have lived away from my parents for quite some time and have not been able to celebrate Fathers Day with my dad for decades. I will, nonetheless, be seeing him in a few days and I can’t wait to be his “little girl” again. I may have outgrown his lap, but I’ll never outgrow his heart.