By Joey and Carla Link
June 15, 2022
Have you wondered what kind of Father Jesus would be if He had married and had children before His death? He gave us some insights when he said in Matthew 19:14 “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
While Jesus never married, He does have kids, lots of them. He even gave them His name. People call our family the Link family. People call Jesus’ family Christians and the Bible tells us what kind of Father He is to us. First and foremost, the first commandment tells us we are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts. What comes next for Dads?
Let’s talk about the disciples. They followed Jesus’ teachings and were committed to being a part of His earthly and heavenly family. There are lots of stories how He listened to them and put up with their teenage-like disputes. In Luke 9:46 they were arguing about who would be the greatest of them. Can you imagine that? To actually ask Jesus this question?! Not very humble, is it? Jesus took the time to explain that to them.
John 13 tells us how Jesus demonstrated the full extent of his love for his disciples by how He took on the role of a servant, by washing their feet. Then when Peter, who had finally matured to understanding the position of Jesus’ leadership, said to him “No way Jesus! My feet are filthy. This is not a job for you to do.” Jesus went on to teach His disciples that He was setting the example to love each other no matter what, and you do this by serving each other.
Carla has a little song she made up that she sings to our grandkids when we are with them at bedtime that ends with “Grammy loves you and Grammy always will.” When she is done singing, she asks them if there is ever anything they could do that would stop her from loving them. Even as they are getting older, they still wait for her to sing the song to them.
But Jesus, knowing He was preparing the disciples for future leadership without Him, was, in this case showing Peter it didn’t matter how dirty he was inside or out (Peter later denied knowing Jesus). Jesus would always love him. He was showing them if they loved each other when they were most unlovable and they did it whether it made sense or not, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
Jesus set the standard of how to love our kids when it is hard to love them because we know they will thwart our teaching by doing the exact opposite of what we have said was the right thing to do. Jesus knew Judas would betray him when He washed his feet. If He could do this to someone who was going to set the stage for His death, then surely we can love our kids and others no matter what.
As a father of 40 years, loving kids when they make bad and wrong choices is not easy, especially when you know you can stop them, but you also know allowing them the freedom to experience the pain of failure (age-appropriate) can help them learn from their mistakes and help them to become wiser than most around them.
We know those of you reading this unconditionally love your kids and always will, no matter what. The question is, “Do they know that?” What do they think when they know they did something wrong again and are in trouble again, especially your little ones?
Father’s Day is a day set apart to honor dads and show them love. Dads deserve this. Consider taking a cue from Jesus at what we now know was His “Last Supper” with the disciples and show them you love them in a special way that will grab their attention as well.