Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth ..." (Lk. 10:21 NIV) Jesus called God his Father, and he taught his followers to think of God as their Father too, saying, "This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven ...' " (Mt. 6:9 NIV)
The Scripture describes our Father God as loving and compassionate, just yet gracious, merciful and forgiving. But what if hearing the words "Father in heaven" evokes in our children's minds negative images from adverse experiences they have had with their own fathers on earth? As explained in MODELING THE HEAVENLY FATHER TO EARTHLY CHILDREN, we Christian dads, as well as grandfathers and other influential male adults, have the responsibility and privilege to raise our boys and girls, sons and daughters of all ages, in such a way as to give them an accurate and positive understanding of who God really is. We do this by emulating and modeling divine attributes like justice and abhorrence of evil, but also kindness, wisdom, communication, compassion, and most certainly love. This will take dedication and perseverance; nonetheless, we must rise to this challenge, for our kids will be watching us and learning about what "heavenly Father" really means.