There are few responsibilities of fatherhood as universally accepted as that of provider. Even in a world where wives are often able to bring home more money than their husbands, the idea that fathers are responsible to provide for the needs of their families is deeply ingrained. In fact, many fathers organize their lives around fulfilling this one responsibility, sometimes to the exclusion of all others.
When we consider the role that God the Father has taken with mankind, we can understand why provision and fatherhood are so closely associated. God is the ultimate provider. The very act of creation was one of provision. Through creation, God established the environment that His children would live in. He created a place of safety and provided His children’s physical needs.
Many earthly fathers understand this. They work tirelessly to put a roof over their children’s heads, to provide safety and food. They work long hours to ensure that their children have what they need. While this effort is certainly commendable, Luke 11:11-13 reveals another aspect of provision that is often overlooked.
This passage starts off talking about the type of provision that we normally think of—food. It compares our efforts to provide with God’s provision. By the end of verse 12 we expect to read an ultimate example of God’s provision, yet the Scripture takes an interesting turn. Instead of giving us examples of food or shelter it says, “how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit.” God’s ultimate provision came when He gave us Himself.
Fathering like the Father requires that we do the same—give ourselves to our children.
A good father will not only provide for their children’s physical needs but also their emotional and spiritual needs. This is difficult, but we cannot allow ourselves to be so consumed by our efforts to be a good provider that we forget to provide what is most important.
This may require some drastic changes. In order to have time with our children, we might have to lay aside a favorite hobby or sport for a time. We might need to negotiate a different schedule at work, accept a pay cut, or give up our dream of a bigger house. But if we can accept that our role as provider is larger than simply providing “things,” it becomes possible.
Pray that God show you how you rearrange your schedule so that you can provide your children with more of yourself.
For more information on this topic listen to, Winning Your Daughter’s Heart, on FamilyLifeToday.com.