There is no doubt in Steve’s mind that his approach to fatherhood is shaped by knowing God as his heavenly Father.
“There are many ways that Jesus has inspired being a father,” he says. “It’s best encapsulated when the rich young man came to Jesus and said, ‘Good teacher, what must I do to be saved?’ Jesus responds, ‘Why do you call me good? There’s no one good but my father’.”
Steve, a father of four, feels that the way Jesus answers this seemingly simple question also gives insight into his attitude towards God the Father.
“It’s almost as if Jesus said, ‘You reckon I’m good? You should see my Dad!’,” he says.
“You reckon I’m good? You should see my Dad!”
It’s this approach that Steve aims to imitate when it comes to his own children.
“That’s what I try to do for my kids,” he says. “If you think I’m a good dad, well, you should know my heavenly Father. That’s a way that Jesus has inspired me to be like him in my fatherhood.”
Steve believes the key to pointing your children towards the goodness of God is to be grounded in your own faith. An honest Christian life, seeking to glorify God, will speak volumes to your children.
“Keep your relationship with God and Jesus your number one priority,” he says. “Most other things fall into place. Do that – not in a showy way, but in an everyday, real way. Kids can spot a fake incredibly easily. Be real, and the other stuff will follow.”
Trusting the heavenly Father through trials
For Roy, knowing his heavenly Father has helped him through one of the most difficult trials of fatherhood. Nine years ago, Roy and his family buried their eldest child.
“The greatest challenge we had was losing our oldest son in 2011,” he says. “Compared to every other challenge you have in your life, nothing compares to that.”
The grief and pain brought with it many unanswered questions.
“We had George for just under 30 years,” Roy says. “One of the things we questioned was why. Why had God done this to us?”
“Why had God done this to us?”
Knowing the sovereignty of God, and understanding that his purposes are bigger and better than what we can comprehend, helped Roy and his family as they grieved. Even though they longed for their son, they knew they had a heavenly Father whom they could trust.
“We came to the conclusion that God gave us George,” he says. “God gave us good times with George. So there must be a reason. We accepted that God gave us a child and took him. It doesn’t mean we never questioned this. I did. It was pretty challenging to say that God knows everything and God plans everything for you, and suddenly God takes someone away from you.”