True Fathers Arise



Not All Fathers

We never called them “daddy-daughter dates” when I was a child, but that phrase described our outings. Not everyone has experienced a good dad, however, for there are those who merely shake their heads at me and declare, “Sorry. Can’t relate. At all.”

In the name of sensitivity, I’ve often shied away from talking about my relationship with my earthly father out of fear of evoking sadness or resentment. But lately, the Holy Spirit has nudged me to use my earthly experience to help others perceive God as who He genuinely is.

Intimacy Builder

Living in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, my yard was comprised of wild grass and flowers, pine trees, hills, and gravel roads. Fond memories surface of the days Dad would pack a little nap-sack and take me “hiking” on our ten acres. He’d search out just the right little cubby spot between two giant boulders and make a small fire. While we roasted hotdogs on sticks, he’d inspire me with adventure stories about cowboys and Indians (my favorite).

Protector & Prioritizer

Dad was an efficient and successful businessman, but he wasn’t obsessed with his status or work. He gave his family special care. He used things but valued people. A couple of times, Dad even stepped-in to protect other children from abusive parents. I cherish one particularly vivid picture of him with his arm around one of my friends who was huddled on our couch, shivering and in shock, while we waited for the police to arrive and take over.


Virtue and Honor

As a college Phi Beta Kappa, he taught me to speak the queen’s English and didn’t allow trash talk. He also taught me to respect my elders and make wise choices. His wholesome affection, even in my teen years, prevented me from looking for love in the wrong places. The key here is wholesome, not sexual violation disguised as affection.

At his funeral (1992), I had the honor of sharing with guests how my dad’s love made it easy for me to receive the incalculable love of my Father in Heaven after I became a believer. Dad wasn’t perfect, he didn’t know Jesus, and he made his share of poor parenting decisions. But I thank God often for him because I’m still discovering how the Lord used the man to influence me despite his lack of God-knowledge. And how God keeps filling in the gaps left by man’s imperfection.


As I examine my natural and supernatural experiences side-by-side, I can guarantee the following attributes describe how our Father in Heaven is toward those who belong to Him, to those who call Him Abba Father.


This list is hardly exclusive.


  • Kindness. He does not provoke His children to anger nor push their buttons. 
  • Goodness. He does not exasperate His children to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable
  • Gentleness. He does not humiliate or abuse children (or anyone)
  • Faithfulness. He shows no favoritism or indifference toward any of his children
  • Committed. He nurtures us tenderly and with lovingkindness

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 Amplified Bible

Despite their best efforts, there are certain things no earthly dad could ever do.
On the other hand, God does all things with perfection and at the right time.
He disciplines us to share in His holiness, meaning to be set apart with a Higher Purpose that will benefit humanity.
He instructs us on how to live rightly so we will prosper in soul and body; His ways produce supernatural healing and strength. 

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. Psalm 91:1 Amplified Bible

In the same way my dad used to find the best little cubby spots in the shelter of boulders, our Father in Heaven longs to meet you and me in the Secret Place and intimately inspire us with His divine purpose for our existence. When the Heavenly Father speaks Divine inspiration, it ruins us for the better. Will you let Him wow you today?


Have you met Him in the secret place today?

If you don’t yet know this side of God,
ask Him to show you. He will.
He is faithful, and you are His pleasure.


The Way of the Embattled Spirit


Words to treasure:

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the humble with salvation.
Psalm 149:4

He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing. 
Zephaniah 3:17b

He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.
Psalm 18:19

For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Ephesians 2:8


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2 Responses to “True Fathers Arise”

  1. Steve Ketchum says:

    Love this. Thx

  2. J.A. Marx says:

    Hey, Steve. Thanks for the shout out. Glad you stopped by.

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