Fathers: Men of Compassion

Psalm 103:13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. 

Father's Day was Sunday, June 16. I was blessed to celebrate another Father's Day with my 85 year old dad, Horace Bryan Hudson. He is the greatest man I've ever known, and a man of great compassion. He was my model in being a father to our four wonderful children, and now, three grandchildren.

Our youngest son experienced his first Father's Day when he became a father when his wife gave birth to a beautiful little girl in February. My son, along with another first time father, shared reflections on their early experience of being a father. We also heard from two experienced fathers who were also grandfathers. 

In our culture and community, we value those whom we call "father-like-ones," such as relatives, coaches, educators, and men in the church community. One of our men who spoke, a former high school principal and teacher, reflected on having served as a father-like-one to more than 3000 students in the course of his career.

As a pastor and community leader, I've also had the experience exercising compassion in serving young men and women, especially through 39 years as a pastor to our congregation and for 20 years of conducting summer media camps for youth.

I share all of this to highlight something about fathers that we often overlook: When we look as compassion as only an emotional response, we have difficulty seeing fathers in that light. 

However, when we understand compassion in its more proper definition, we can see fathers in their true light. The best understanding of compassion is "love in action." When we think about the actions that men and father's take for their children and others, we can clearly see the compassion filled role of the father. 

David compared the compassion of fathers to the compassion of God. In this we find one of the most significant purposes of fathers: To properly and lovingly represent God before the children and others. God is a God of compassion. He is a God of action, which He proved by sending Jesus Christ to be are Savior and Lord.

When we  consider the lofty and seeming overwhelming requirements of fathers, I like always remind men of this very important truth: Whatever God requires, He provides.

So brothers, embrace your assignment of compassion because it is not only about emotion––which we have. It is more about love in action...and you know how to do that!

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