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  • Jamie Lynn

Positive, neutral, or negative

PLYMOUTH – It’s great that we set aside a day each year to celebrate our fathers! The older I get and the more people I have deep conversations with, I see how crazy important fathers are to a family. 


I’ve spoken with grown adults who are struggling with some part of their life. Often, they will bring up their father having been absent, abusive, neglectful, disinterested, or if he was engaged with the family, loving, and helpful. Dads are extremely important in setting the course of their children’s lives. Children use their dad as a pattern for a how-to book of life.


Dads who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their life have excellent help in the Bible and from the Holy Spirit’s guidance.


As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. – Psalm 103:13 ESV

(I love how the Message version of the Bible voices the same verse:

As parents feel for their children, God feels for those who fear him.)


Children thrive and flourish when they know they are dearly loved by their dad. I think that is why God called himself our Father. Even when we aren’t given a godly physical dad on earth, we can have an eternal Father God through Jesus Christ. 


I worked in a Michigan public high school with students who had massive absenteeism and were generally known as at-risk teens. They were at-risk of dropping out of high school, as well as not making it in society and the community. Through numerous conversations with these students, many described their fathers who had left, were abusive, didn’t love or interact with them, didn’t work or provide a living, or who abused drugs or alcohol. Their fathers had strong effects on the student’s views of life.


To have a quick reminder for myself as I spoke with a student, I mentally began a general evaluation system of these students’ fathers. I would think a father was either a positive (+) in the student’s life (student felt supported and loved), or a neutral (0) (student felt ignored, unimportant), or a negative (-) (student felt unsafe and unloved). 


God is always a 100% positive Father. He has proven his faithfulness to us over and over in our lives and all throughout the generations as testified in the Bible. He loves us with an overwhelming love that provides salvation for us to come into a right relationship with Him.


As Jesus-following dads, let’s love our children with abandonment! There should never be any doubt in our kids’ minds that they are loved by us. Out of love for our children, let’s point them to the Father that will never leave them and will love them with a fierce love.  


He (God) who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? – Romans 8:32


For I am sure that neither death nor life, not angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39


Fathers, you don’t have to be a superstar, the most handsome, smartest, richest, or in the best shape… just be a dad who loves your kids like God loves them – fiercely!

Let your kids catch you reading the Bible at home, praying for them by name, and taking them to church with a joyful attitude. (Don’t forget to show your wife love, respect, and tenderness in front of your kids so that your children learn how a Jesus following husband treats his wife.) Nurture your children as they grow in strength and wisdom in the Lord



Jamie works as Executive Assistant for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Her greatest joy is serving Jesus Christ. Her husband, Tony, their three children, and nine grandchildren are gifts from God that fill Jamie's life to overflowing. Mentoring young women in the Lord is a ministry of delight. Jamie and her family served 13 years with the IMB international mission work in Niger Republic, West Africa, and Paris, France. 


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