Psalm 103:13 (ESV)
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
Am I an affectionate father? Like the geyser “Old Faithful,” do I spontaneously spew out love and affection on my children? Am I faithful to fill my son or daughter’s emotional tank with a warm embrace or a kiss on the head? Or am I so caught up in my own career and needs that I have no emotional capacity to give affection? Affection must be displayed.
A father with affection reflects his heavenly Father’s affection for him. It is out of an overflow of being comforted and loved by Christ that redeemed fathers show affection to their children. When the Holy Spirit gives us a warm and secure hug, we can’t help but hug our children and grandchildren. Eternal affection translates into earthly affection.
Perhaps you have a routine of kissing and hugging your children each time you leave home and when you arrive home. There is no rushing out the door until you have made emotional deposits in your most valued relational account. Your child is your lock-box of love, waiting with a tender heart to be touched by their daddy. Initiate hugs and kisses.
When a child’s heart hurts from fear, rejection, or physical harm, move closer with care and compassion. Listen with empathetic ears and outstretched arms. Affectionate fathers are up close and personal, distant fathers are unsympathetic and impersonal. Your seeds of affection reap a harvest of healthy adult children who want to come back home.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20b).
Since He sets His affections on you, you set your affections on Almighty God. A father who is first loved by his heavenly Father has the capacity to love his children appropriately and fully. Adult children who have experienced their father’s affection more easily show affection. So seek affection above and then apply it below.
Dear Lord, help us as fathers to show Your love to those You have given to us. Help us to strive to be the Father You have for us to be. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.