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Summary: David describes our Heavenly Father in many ways. Psalms 103 is special and on point. A Godly father would do well to emulate the Heavenly Father in these specific ways.

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CHARACTERISTICS OF A GODLY FATHER

Dr. Walter Thomas

The task of parenting is hard work. Most of us who parent have our good moments and our not-so-good ones. Often we flat-out fail in our parenting efforts. Fathers, especially, are getting a "bad rap" in the movies, on TV, the press and in our society in general. Dad's are bad, they are bunglers, they are a necessary evil to many in our society. But many fathers are trying to take seriously their responsibilities to parent better. They are missing many appropriate father models around them, maybe their own father was a poor model. However, there are good standards of fatherhood given in the Scriptures. Some of them are in the descriptions of Shepherds, trustees, elders, deacons, and spiritual leaders. Each of these spiritual roles has a "parenting" facet. But we are given the best standards in the description of our HEAVENLY FATHER. Psalms 103 is one of those choice chapters which list the characteristics of our Heavenly Father. David lists 17 of them in this Psalm. They provide a perfect standard against which we can evaluate ourselves. None of us are perfect, to be sure. But these qualities of a perfect father serve as "measuring sticks" which serve as evaluation criteria on which we can see how we are doing against God's standards of fatherhood. Listed below, are those qualities taken from Psalms 103. Rate yourself on each standard, using a scale of 1-to-10, with ten being a perfect score and a one being an indication of failure when measured against that standard.

__1. Forgives all of my faults and offenses against him.

__2. Heals me when I am wounded or sick.(is redemptive and caring, caregiver)

__3. He saves me from damnation and hell.(concerned about my salvation, spiritual condition)

__4. He always surrounds me with loving kindness regardless.

__5. He fills my life with good things.

__6. He gives justice to me, even when I have been unfair to Him and others.

__7. He reveals His will and purposes to me on an on-going basis.

__8. He is merciful to me when my conduct deserves punishment.

__9. He is tender to me even when my conduct could easily provoke him.

__10. He is full of love towards me at all times.

__11. He always treats me with kindness and is never harsh with me.

__12. He is very slow to ever get angry with me.

__13. He never holds a grudge against me or holds my past failings against me.

__14. When I provoke him to anger, his anger subsides quickly and does not last at all.

__15. He forgets my sins and offenses and removes them from me (as far as the east is from the west).

__16. He is so sympathetic to my needs and concerns.

__17. His loving kindness towards me never ceases to be in place.


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