Dads have an opportunity to set their children up for a lifetime of meaningful, grounded, and successful experiences. Unfortunately, they also have the potential to set their children up for failure, insecurity and struggle. There is an innate desire within all of us to connect with our fathers. I think this is a direct link to how our souls desire a relationship with our heavenly Father.
Abba is an Aramaic word for Father but it expresses a deeper personal relationship of love and tenderness. Picture a little girl or boy running up to their daddy. They yell, “Daddy!” with all the excitement and awe they can muster. Their daddy bends down, scoops them up and envelopes he/she in hugs and kisses while swinging them around and proclaiming to everyone around, “This one is mine! I adore them.” This is what it looks like to be the kind of Father in which a child doesn’t just say Father but calls out to their “Abba.”
I am blessed to have a husband who is an “Abba” for our children. I have watched him over the years instill in our children life long lessons that I see manifested in them today. Here are 5 things he has modeled for them.
- Sound priorities: Over and over my husband has modeled a life totally devoted to pursuing his relationship with God. He has modeled this priority for them throughout their lives showing that when God comes first we are more aptly equipped for life.
- Audacious love: My children never doubted their father’s love and care for them. Even in times of struggle or difficulty they always knew their daddy loved them.
- Courage & grace: It takes great courage to consistently model grace. Grace is mentioned throughout scripture and means such things as kindness, forgiveness, and mercy. We all have points when we are not very deserving of these signs of grace. It takes courage to say, “despite my hurt and disappointment in your behavior I will forgive you.” My husband consistently modeled courageous grace whether it was for them, me or others in his life.
- Humility: When asked for advice there were times my husband said, “I don’t know but let’s find out together.” He made it his business to search and learn along side them.
- Adventure: There are countless Saturday mornings when my husband and one of our children would feign secrecy as they walked out the door. The only response I would get to my question of where they were going was, “We are on a mission!” To this day I’m not really sure all they did on their missions as each adventurer was sworn to secrecy. I think I like it better that way.
My prayer for you as a Father is that you will pursue the attributes of being “Abba” to your children so you may set them up well for this life.