3 Powerful Lessons from the Heart of a Father


Father’s Day.  For some the day is a challenge of emotions caused by a distant, abusive or absent father.  Others spend an awkward day required by a divorce decree.  Many reflect on a dad who is no longer living.  Fathers aren’t perfect, but we have a heavenly father who is and he built within dads three lessons to reflect His heart.

Lesson One:  A father loves and leads

From the beginning God created man to lead.  Adam was made to lead in love as a reflection of the Father who loved and created him.  Adam failed and leadership was twisted by power.  Relationships fractured.

Today, the struggle to lead in love or lead in power plays out in homes, workplaces, and government.  Last week we saw two stark contrasting examples.  The first came from Dallas, Texas at the Southern Baptist Convention.   The delegates approved several resolutions on the dignity of women, gun violence and immigration.  They led in love.  With immigration they recognized the struggle of fathers seeking a better life for their family and the value of keeping families intact.


The second, comes from Washington DC where Jeff Sessions invoked Nehemiah and Romans 13 as justification for building a wall and separating families.  Leading in power.  Comedian Stephen Colbert joined many in the evangelical community in denouncing the policy.

Fathers reflect the heart of their heavenly father when they lead in love, not power.  God has all the power in the universe, yet he willingly set it aside to die for us.  We serve a God who leads with a towel, not a taser.

Lesson Two:  A father provides and protects

Built into the DNA of a good father is the desire to provide and protect his family.  Every dad across the planet shares this concern.  Our Father in Heaven reflects this as our ultimate provider and protector.

What would you do if your family was in danger?  If you could not provide for your family because of war or famine?  Dads in Yemen, Myanmar, Honduras, El Salvador and other places across the globe face this question daily.  Several face credible fear of persecution or death based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Those who come to the United States are entitled by law to file for asylum.  They are not required to come in a certain way, but must request asylum which allows them to remain intact as a family until a hearing can be held to determine their status.  Our new stated policy of breaking up families as a deterrent and not permitting asylum claims unless made at certain points of entry is wrong.

We are not helping the orphan.  We are creating orphans.  My friend Matthew Soerens with World Relief sets out the challenges and ways to respond in this article.

Our new anti-family policy is not limited to the border.  ICE is separating families on a regular basis.  One recent example comes from Morristown, Tennessee.  After ICE took into custody many fathers working in a meat plant, churches and the town came together to love their neighbors.  The article telling the town’s story is worth reading.


Lesson Three:  A father demonstrates courage and conviction

We respect men of courage and conviction.  Men like Abraham Lincoln, William Wilberforce, Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King, Jr.  We think of warriors and firemen who risk their lives.  However, the greatest courage may be the small, daily battles.

The courage to say no to extra hours at work that steal you from your family.  Courage to lovingly lead your family.  The courage to root your convictions in the word of God and involve your family in living that out.  The courage to stand for what is right.

Courage like 78-year-old Al Dornan who faces pain and ridicule to walk over two miles every day to show support for sons and daughters of immigrants who dream of a brighter future.  Read his story.


Courage to see the wrong and take action for the right.  It is wrong that the United States ranks 97th in the world for providing affordable access to justice.  Wrong that a hard working dad can’t afford a lawyer to help protect his family.

access to justice

We may not be able to right every wrong, but we can do something.  Take a stand.  Join us in restoring hope to neighbors trapped by legal injustice.  This is ministry you can do as a family.  Visit our web site and contact us to get involved.

Use your voice, your skill, your time and your treasure to make a difference.

Will You Join Us?

We are looking to launch a campaign to Open the Gates of Justice.  People need Jesus and they need justice.  We want to reach more people with the hope of the gospel and the help of a lawyer.  Will you help us raise $50,000 in the next 30 days to launch new ministries?

A generous donor has provided $25,000 in matching funds.  Every dollar you give will have twice the impact.  Involve your family.  Raise money or give together.  Talk about the impact of your gift that alleviates fear and provides hope to people needing legal help.  Consider giving in honor of a father or grandfather.

Pray with us.  Every Saturday and many week nights across the country, people walk into a legal ministry because of your support.  Will you pray for them?  Join our newsletter to receive updates.

Thank you for helping us rescue neighbors caught in a complex legal system as we restore them to hope in Jesus and free them from legal burdens.  You can donate here.