At first, you might think to yourself, “Well, of course that’s true!” But upon further inspection, it’s a truth most of us tend to accidentally ignore. Most Father’s Day lessons tend to turn out like this: “If you think your earthly dad is good to you, wait until you hear about your Heavenly father!”
While God is certainly an amazing father, comparing him to some earthly fathers would leave kids with more questions than answers. There are certainly kids in your group where the dad has left the family for his girlfriend and only shows up when he’s mad or is forced to against his own will.
So how do we reach kids from broken homes? How do you explain our amazing Heavenly Father without trying to compare Him to a lousy earthly dad?
(Well first of all, don’t call their earthly dad lousy ? )
Here’s an idea…
Take a little of the “Sunday School Shine” off a famous dad in the Bible.
Here…let me help:
When we think of David, the stories are easy:
David the shepherd defeats Goliath the seasoned solider.
David goes from taking care of sheep, to taking care of an entire kingdom.
David conquers Jerusalem and brings the Ark of the Covenant back.
David’s name is used to describe the place where Jesus would be born: “In the city of DAVID”
David is no small figure in the Bible…he’s a man almost everyone would consider a hero of the faith.
But David’s got plenty of issues. Maybe some your kids would recognize these from their own homes:
David had a girlfriend, AFTER he had a wife.
David’s actions made many around him sick, and some even died.
David left a trail of wives and sons in his wake.
Several of David’s sons did such terrible things that we would put them in jail if they were alive today.
These actions don’t suddenly make David a disappointment, they simply make him human! All of a sudden, David sounds a little more like a dad from a broken family. David is a little more relatable than the perfect Sunday School Bible character he started out as.
This kind of look at David’s life should be a tremendous encouragement to Sunday School kids showing up for a Father’s Day lesson. The very man who is listed in Jesus’ FAMILY TREE…the man who is one of the MOST famous characters in the entire Bible is a flawed, messed up human being. He’s a dad who was far from perfect. And yet, God still chose him for greatness. Not only that, but David’s son, Solomon, would build Israel’s first permanent church building.
If you look through the Bible…MANY of the most famous characters are deeply flawed. It seems to me that God primarily chooses messed up people, from messed up places, to accomplish the greatest things for God’s kingdom.
So this Father’s Day, don’t let anyone feel left out, regardless of their family circumstances.
Talk about the fact that there are probably kids in the room who don’t have a great dad in their life…and THAT IS OK. Having a “perfect family” is not a requirement for God to love them or use them! In fact, God loves using people with a crazy family history. That’s just the kind of Dad he is!
This article originally appeared here.