The Heart of the Father

This is my first blog, so please be patient as I navigate my way through this new skill! Writing a blog is a great way to share our journeys in life and to keep folks informed on what’s going on, the good and the not so good!

I am the father of 5 beautiful kids and for this I am truly blessed, they are all so different and totally unique. Let me tell you a bit about them …

Firstly my gorgeous wife Joanne, who is the cornerstone of our family, she is simply a rock and a wonderful mother.

Katie is the eldest child, who keeps reminding us that she is the Law in the household. The reason she says this is that she is a Police Officer. Katie wanted to join the Police from a young age, so for her to achieve her dream makes us very proud as parents.

Then comes Hannah who is a hairdresser and loves to be glamorous. She is a beautiful girl both inside and out. Talented in whatever she does she has the ability to put people at ease then work her magic and they leave feeling amazing.  She is so much fun to be around and has the most amazing singing voice.

Daughter number 3 is Rebecca, or Becks, who wants to become a firefighter. A gifted person who brings laughter into our lives, she has just got her exam results and did very well.  She is going into 5th year, so hoping she does well in her Highers.

Then comes Rachel, daughter number 4 (yup, 4 daughters), who is so different to her older sisters. She loves her sport and is a gifted football player playing for Donside Girls. She also loves music and plays the drums, and has a most amazing singing voice, but keeps this firmly under wraps.

Finally there is Samuel, the boy in the household. He is a warrior in every way. Courageous, (well he has to be with 4 older sisters) and intelligent, Samuel loves his football and is a promising young player. Joanne and I say the intelligence must have skipped a generation …..

So, where is all this going? Firstly I love my wife, she is one amazing lady and I am so thankful that she is my soul partner.

Then secondly my kids are all wonderful, and I will give my all for them until the day I leave this world, and here is the point … I have the father`s heart. Like me when I was young, my kids will (and have already!), made some crazy choices in their young lives. I made so many crazy choices, and at the age of 48 will go on and make many more not so wise choices. My Dad was certainly not perfect, but he loved me and in his own way forgave those silly choices of youth.

In the Bible there is the parable of the lost (or prodigal) son. It is found in Luke chapter 15, verses 11-32. The main character in the parable, the forgiving father, whose character remains constant throughout the story, is a picture of God. In telling the story, Jesus identifies Himself with God in His loving attitude to the lost. The younger son symbolizes the lost (the tax collectors and sinners of that day, Luke 15:1), and the elder brother represents the self-righteous (the Pharisees and teachers of the law of that day, Luke 15:2). The major theme of this parable seems not to be so much the conversion of the sinner, as in the previous two parables of Luke 15, but rather the restoration of a believer into fellowship with the Father. In the first two parables, the owner went out to look for what was lost (Luke 15:1-10), whereas in this story the father waits and watches eagerly for his son’s return. We see a progression through the three parables from the relationship of one in a hundred (Luke 15:1-7), to one in ten (Luke 15:8-10), to one in one (Luke 15:11-32), demonstrating God’s love for each individual and His personal attentiveness towards all humanity. We see in this story the graciousness of the father overshadowing the sinfulness of the son, as it is the memory of the father’s goodness that brings the prodigal son to repentance (Romans 2:4).

What I love about this parable is the heart of the Father, that he loved his youngest son unconditionally, when he saw his son in the distance, he ran to him, to embrace him and give total forgiveness.

God is our Father and his love for us is beyond our human minds, it’s what is called perfect love, the Greek word is Agape.

This word agape is often translated “love” in the New Testament. How is “agape love” different from other types of love? The essence of agape love is goodwill, benevolence, and willful delight in the object of love. Unlike our English word loveagape is not used in the New Testament to refer to romantic or sexual love. Nor does it refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word philia is used. Agape love involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13.

So my first Blog is about the Father`s heart, for me as a Father, I love my kids, and will always be there for them but I am not perfect and will make mistakes.

But my Heavenly Father is agape love, his love is perfect – no mistakes, and that is why he sent his only son, Jesus into the world, that we could see perfect love in action.

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Image Credit: Caleb Jones

  • Gavin Johnson

    Great first blog Ricky, and a wonderful family for you to care for and nurture.

  • John Paton

    Agree with Gavin. Great blog, and a real blessing to have such a great family.

  • Ian Hepburn

    Well done Ricky,very well written, keep up the great work