One of the things Jeff and I were just talking about is I absolutely love to contemplate the Trinity, and I’m reading this amazing book, I’d highly it, Jeff just got it, called Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves. And he says something about the fatherhood of God that really struck me as something that could be really helpful for us as dads.
So let me read this quote to you guys. He says, “And yet, while the father loves the son and the son loves the father, there is a very definite shape to their relationship. Overall, the father is the lover. The son is the beloved. The Bible is awash with talk of the father’s love for the son, but while the son clearly does love the father, hardly anything has said about it. The father’s love is primary, and the father is the loving head. That then means that in his, in his love, he will send and direct to the son, whereas the son never sends or directs the father. The shape of the father-son relationship begins a gracious cascade, like a waterfall of love as the father is the lover and the head of the son, so the son goes out to be the lover and the head of the church. “As the father has loved me,” Jesus says, ‘So have I loved you.’ John 15:9″
One of the things that that really struck me when I was reading that is the shape of the way that this relationship works between a father and a son, between a father and his children, or just even to think about between a father and his family, is that do you see yourself as the source of love? In other words, you’re receiving love from your heavenly father, but in your own family, in that cascade, that waterfall of love, do you take responsibility? Because sometimes as dads, one of the worst things I think we could ever do is say, “Well, it’s a 50 50 thing. If my wife… if she’s bearing her weight, and the kids, they’re doing their thing, then I’ll bring my thing.” That’s one way in which you can think about your responsibility.
The other way, and I think the way that is more consistent with what the Bible talks about with what it means to be the father, is it you say to yourself, “If there is a lack of love in my family, if there’s a lack of commitment in my family, then I need to be the source of that love and commitment.” And that needs to then become contagious downstream to the rest of the family, and taking on that responsibility. And obviously that means you got to be getting that love, that acceptance, from your heavenly father. Because we can’t just generate that source. We’re not a divine source of love the way the father is. But I do think in our family, it’s important to see ourself as the beginning of that cascade. But yeah, Jeff, what are your thoughts on that?
Yeah, I totally agree. And that’s the privilege and the responsibility of dads is that you are to… I mean, just that metaphor of this cup idea, that your cup has to be filled before you can ever give someone a drink, before you could ever nurse someone, before anyone can ever receive from you. And I think a lot of us dads, sometimes we don’t realize it, but we’re trying to pour from empty. Or we’re trying to lead from empty, but it’s like, man, what it looked like to be filled with that divine, I would almost say unnatural at some level, and supernatural love because it’s against the way of the world and the unnatural way that’s unique, particular, and just change your life and softens your heart. Because that is the magic, for lack of a better term, that will pass onto your kids, that will emanate onto them, that will spill on to them that we see, obviously, from the father to Jesus, to Jesus to us.
And so, yeah. I think that’s really, really important. And just a thought for you guys today. What would that look like? And assess, give yourself a little objective assessment. Can I say that I am genuinely, day by day, being filled with the love of Jesus in a way that will then emanate out from me?