“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are….” (1 John 3:1, ESV)
I’m my Father’s son. There’s no doubt about it. My habits, my personality, even my DNA declare it. In him my identity is found.
Have you ever thought about the privilege of being called someone’s child? Do you ever consider your identity in that way?
In a day that has brought so many folks to an identity crisis, it may do us well to consider our familial standing. In a time when the family is little more than a social construct, a positive defense of it may be beneficial.
I remember the comfort I had knowing my dad when I was a child. He brought me a sense of security. In him I found safety and rest. It was his home where I would abide and it was his rule that demanded obedience and gave order.
My days began with his departure, anticipated his return, and were consummated when he pulled into the driveway. Most of the time his return was a source of happiness. Sometimes though, especially if I had misbehaved, the anticipation became dread and shame. At those times his forgiveness was my greatest wish.
If in my scholastic or athletic efforts I worked hard or succeeded, or if someone found a resemblance unknown to them before, I often heard the words, “he’s just like his dad”. There was little else that could make me stand up straighter, hold my head higher, and walk more upright than to hear others associate me with him, especially when it came to hard work, diligence, or faithfulness.
Many times, even now, when I meet folks who live near him but may not know who I am, I introduce myself as his son. I am not interested at that moment in my own personal image. My desire is that they will be able to make the connection, to associate me as his son. I am always disappointed if they do not and elated if they do.
It used to be that way for most young boys growing up, especially in the rural South. Folks didn’t know other folk’s young’ns because of the child’s intrinsic worth. That self-absorbed, feel-good, psychobabble is a recent addition (or subtraction) to the culture. It was only a few decades ago that children were known by who their parents were. It was their parents that mattered. Yeah, the child was important but only as the son or daughter of the parents.
Today, ancestry is all but forgotten. No one seems to care from where you come. The most important qualities today are self-fulfillment, self-identification, and being self-made. We have become independent of our ancestry, units made from scratch. Not only does it not matter who your parents were, but even less who your grandparents or great-grandparents were. In fact, many see their ancestry as a malady or a hindrance and its proliferation or protection bigotry.
In my opinion, the cultural effort to muddy the water when it comes to family and identity is only one front in the supernatural war against God’s design. As principalities war against us, their juggernaut attacks the most basic building blocks God uses to establish civilization. Gender is confused, marriage is deconstructed, and family is disintegrated and its not a coincidence.
I’m convinced that one of the ultimate objectives in the supernatural war on family is the concept I have already related to you in the beginning of this article. The concept that is missing from so many households today is the very one attacked by the powers against us. It’s a truth about who we are as the Elect, our self-identity if you will. The concept is found in 1 John 2:28-3:3; we have been called the Children of God.
Consider the similarities of our Heavenly Father and my earthly father that I described earlier. My sentiments were true about my own father, but they are truly my Heavenly Father’s character. I am able to relate to my Heavenly Father more easily because my relationship with my earthly father has been a finite and fallible picture of that relationship. I understand my Heavenly position as adopted and the promise of an inheritance through my earthly family, especially my father and my position in relation to him.
What good is that?
I understand the exceptionalism and the grace that resulted in being a child of God (3:1). I enjoy the pride and intimacy of being associated with his name (3:1). I have a reason to praise him when my hard work resembles his (2:29). I anticipate his coming (2:28). I miss him when he seems far away. I dread his disappointment and am ashamed of my failure (2:28). I am disappointed when others don’t know me for who I am because that means they don’t know him (3:1). I look forward to becoming like him (3:2). I long to hear him say, “That’s my boy” (3:3).
All of that brings him glory. But, it’s hated by the Enemy and he has declared war on it and it’s a war that has no truce or holiday.
Father’s Day is over, but our Father’s Day never ends. If you are a dad, this is your duty: You represent a greater relationship, one in which your image pales in comparison, but you must do your duty faithfully.
Are your children proud to call you father?
If they are, give God the glory and tell them, “I’m my Father’s son”.
“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” (1 John 2:28–3:3, ESV)