‘I Love You, Papa’: A Father’s Day Reflection
A few nights ago, we had a couple friend over for dinner with their two children. Like us, they had two young, energetic, growing boys.
Needless to say, all four boys—who were between 6 months and 4 years old—were soon the life of the party. Laughter, cries, tantrums, and accidents became the main show as we watched our children interacting with each other and learning the ropes of social interaction and communication.
After dinner, as we started on the dessert—an indulgent burnt oreo cheesecake—one of my friends commented that the cake was to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday.
At the mention of “Father’s Day”, my older son Josiah, who turns 3 in a couple of weeks, immediately came up to me. “Happy Father’s Day, Papa,” he gushed as he gave me a tight hug around my waist.
Tickled by his response but also distracted by the need to serve the cake to our guests, I responded with a quick hug and thanked him for his gesture.
But this didn’t appear to satisfy Josiah. As if wanting to let me know how he truly felt—because I didn’t seem to be getting what he was trying to convey—my son began following me around the house and repeating the hug and his “Happy Father’s Day, Papa” wishes a few more times.
Each time he did this, I had to shift my attention from the events of the evening to my son. Then, as I looked down at him as he hugged my waist again, I heard the words, “I love you, Papa.”
It was the simplest of gestures and words from my son. Yet I felt the warmth and assurance of the love he had for me as his father. The depth of the relationship that we shared, and the strength of bonds built over the 2-plus years of his life, was expressed in that simple acknowledgement from him—and what joy it gave me!
That experience prompted me to reflect on my own relationship with God, my heavenly Father. Did I, like my own son, take enough time to express my love for Him intentionally on a regular basis as a response to the relationship I have with Him? Did I tell Him, “I love You, God”, knowing what joy it would bring to my heavenly Father?
Two verses that came to mind as I reflected on my own actions were:
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your strength.
Love the LORD your God and
keep his requirements, his decrees,
his laws and his commands always.
Even though God knows our hearts better than we know ourselves, our love for Him is expressed through our obedience to Him. This Father’s Day, may we take some time to think about our relationship with God and respond to Him through obedience—and telling Him simply how much we love Him. —Ian Tan
Father, thank You for loving me
with the everlasting, boundless love of a Father.
I love You, too, Father,
and I want to honour You in all I do,
obey You, and glorify Your name.
Read what a father has learnt about forgiveness and God’s love as he looks back on his years of fatherhood.
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