Compassion and Fatherhood


Fatherhood is often described using tough words like provider, leader, and strength. But fathers were also meant to be compassionate.

Read: Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. (Psalm 103:13)

Think: Fatherhood is often described by tough words like provider, leader, and strength.  The soft, tender words like nurturer, caring, and kind are usually reserved for moms.  We thank fathers for the work they did, the instruction they gave, the stuff they provided.  And while this isn’t wrong, it surely isn’t complete. 

Fathers were also meant to be compassionate.  Psalm 103 uses the nature of a compassionate, earthly father to help us understand the compassion of God.  If earthly fathers fail to be compassionate, then how can we properly understand the love of God? 

The Hebrew word for compassion here comes from the root “to caress tenderly.”  The image is of a strong father who so loves his children that he pulls them aside and lovingly kisses their head, strokes their hair, and lays his large hand softly on their arm.  What an image of God! 

I have two boys that I love to snuggle with.  The other day as I held one of them in my embrace, I thought about all the disrespectful things he has said to me and the times he has disappointed me.  Yet, I love him and put my arms around him.  Even though we have often failed Him miserably, our heavenly Father, in His infinite strength and power, lovingly pulls us aside and tenderly caresses us, His children. 

Ask:  Have you witnessed the compassionate love of a father to his child?  If you have not known that type of love personally, have you found healing from those wounds?  When is the last time you sat in God’s presence just to be held in His embrace?

Pray: Father in heaven, thank you for your compassion toward me.  Help me to understand the depth of your love for me.  Teach me to replace my misconceptions of You with Your truth.  Help me to reflect your tenderness toward those in my life.  Amen.

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