by Francis Ng, Major –
How do you grow up as an orphan or without parents? Can a child grow without his or her parents?
Yes! You can grow into mature adulthood and—better still—be a disciple of Jesus when you discover that God is the Father of the “fatherless.” Psalm 10:18 tell us that God defends the fatherless. I look back at my childhood and see how God sent people to help and defend me against the dangers I encountered.
With four children of my own, I ask for nothing less than the same heart God my Father has for me, so I can share his love. My wife Mary and I are corps officers and work at the Penang Children’s Home caring for over 40 fatherless children. I am awed that God chose me to share his love in practical ways.
My fatherhood journey has brought me much happiness. I vividly remember when my children—Carmen (21), Alicia (20), Caleb (14) and Angelynn (5)—were born. God chose me to be their earthly father. How amazing and sacred is this responsibility, and how forgiving they are when I make mistakes along the way.
When we became parents, no one gave us a manual on parenting. I found that the Bible was the best source to learn how to have the Father’s love for his children.
It makes sense to me that God—who created us—knows exactly how to mold us into the best influence we can be. In dance terminology, God is an improviser. I believe he works with us, moving as we move, realigning us as we make choices, with every intention of drawing us unto him. In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28 NIV).
God’s strategy is that we seek to find why we were created. When we understand that God is our Heavenly Father wanting the best for us, we can live confident lives knowing he is our head whatever situations come our way.
Sometimes Angelynn comes to me for no apparent reason, hugs and kisses me and says, “Dad, I love you very much!” This expression of her love reminds me to be just as spontaneous in telling my Father in heaven how much I love him.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV). I pray that by trusting his leading, I will be an example to all generations, illuminating the freedom that comes from knowing the Lord.
I hope my words are an encouragement to fathers everywhere. May we all be faithful and responsible in all things concerning our children, always remembering that God designed us—and helps us—to do the right things for them.
May our Father God—who knew us before we were born—fill us with his presence, and may our good example be worthy of our Father God in heaven.
Taken from the June 2009 issue of War Cry, Malaysia and Myanmar Territory