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Thankful for a Father’s Love

Jun 12, 2023 | Teach Kids Articles

By Debra Hane

When I think about my Father I’m flooded with fond memories. My dad passed away a few years ago, but the impression he left of what a father’s love is supposed to look like seems to grow stronger with time. From watching nature shows, camping, playing games, and eating ice cream together, to teaching me how to drive, going on long walks, and always being quick to patience or forgiveness when I messed up, I knew my dad loved and enjoyed me. Dad made me feel safe and secure. He knew how to make things feel special, without spoiling me.

Sometimes dads can be good examples of what our Heavenly Father is like, and I’m thankful for my own father’s love that was a true representation of what God’s love is like for us as His children. Children are impacted by the love of a father. Sadly, many children don’t know that kind of love, and they don’t know they are loved by God, their heavenly Father.

Here’s how to remind kids to be thankful for a father’s love this Father’s Day, while pointing them to our Heavenly Father, God.

A Father’s Love is God’s Love

Nothing compares to God’s love. Kids may have earthly fathers who seem to love them perfectly, like mine. Other kids may have fathers who have passed away, left, neglected, or even abused them. But God is different from all earthly fathers because His love is totally perfect. His love is steadfast (Exodus 34:6-7) and endures forever (2 Chronicles 5:13). Steadfast means determined and unwavering, and these words are used over and over again to describe God’s love. God’s love doesn’t move or change. It always stays the same. Kids can know what love is like by looking at God because love is from God — He is love (1 John 4:7-8).

This is just one of the many reasons why children should be encouraged to learn about the kind of love God has for them. God, our heavenly Father, loves, protects, and provides for His children. He gives good gifts (Matthew 7:11, James 1:17). He also disciplines us for our own good (Proverbs 3:12, Hebrews 12:7-11) so that we will be trained in righteousness. God is forgiving and expects us to also forgive (Colossians 1:13-14, Matthew 6:14).

God’s everlasting love is connected to His compassion (Isaiah 54:8), deliverance, and forgiveness (Isaiah 38:17), His comfort, hope, and grace (2 Thessalonians 2:16). God loves righteousness, justice (Psalm 33:5) and a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). Most importantly, God loves people (John 3:16), and shows His love through Jesus coming and dying for us even while we were His enemies (Romans 5:8).

When kids know God as their heavenly Father, they can know they are loved for eternity. They will find comfort and strength knowing that nothing can separate them from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). They’ll never need to feel alone and can always look to the all-powerful, all-knowing, wise God for help.

How to Celebrate a Father’s Love

As Father’s Day approaches, I’m reminded of all the craft gifts I made my own dad — one of which being a little tuxedo-painted tuna can that he saved all his coins in on his dresser for years.

While many children are encouraged to make Father’s Day gifts around this time of year, unfortunately, not every child has a father to give a craft to or a good relationship with their father. It’s still important to teach kids to be thankful for a father’s love and to recognize the demonstration that fathers are of God’s love for us as His children, but with just a slight shift of perspective, we can make the experience a little more meaningful and inclusive for some kids.

This Father’s Day, as a parent or someone who works with children, encourage kids to not only be thankful for their father on earth, but their Father in heaven as well, by making crafts or doing activities that include both examples of a father’s love. If making a Father’s Day card, offer out the option for kids to address it to either their father here on earth, or to write a thank you note to their Heavenly Father.

Another activity you could do with kids to help them learn about God the Father’s love, is to read verses about God’s love (you can use the ones I wrote above!) and have kids write out the qualities of God’s love on a piece of paper. They may want to decorate it and make it into a poster, while this can also be turned into a Father’s Day gift by addressing it to their dad and thanking him for loving them like God does.

If you or someone you know missed having a steadfast, loving father in your life, or feel that you’ve missed out on being a steadfast, loving father to your own kids, take comfort in 1 Peter 5:10: “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”

May we all grow a little more thankful for our Father’s love this year.

This content is from the CEF podcast Teach Kids.  Listen to more content like this on the Teach Kids podcast through your favorite podcast platform.  #TeachKids #KidsMin

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