Manny Pacquiao lost a controversial split decision in his fight against Timothy Bradley last weekend. The whole world believes Manny won the fight, except the two judges. As frustrating and disappointing the outcome of the fight is, Pacquiao’s loss left us huge lessons about character, sportsmanship and faith.
It’s the first time that his two sons watch their father’s fight live. Imagine the impact it would have on his two sons when they heard their father tell the crowd during a post-fight interview, “I believe I won the fight…I respect their decision…I thank God. “
Then in a radio interview he said, “Let’s just leave that matter to God, let’s accept the decision with all our heart. Let’s just think that God has a good plan for us.”
I cannot say if Pacquiao’s relationship with God is genuine or not. I can only say that those statements model for his children how to relate to God.
Fatherhood is modeling the most important thing in life – a vital and intimate relationship with our Father in heaven. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, said that we must forgive others just like how God forgave us. Then he stated a general principle out of that, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1).
If we are Christians, then we are God’s children, beloved children of God. As a Father, he first loved us. As a father to our son, God wants me to imitate him. He exemplifies true fatherhood. As God is a good and loving Father to us his children, then I must also be like him in being a father to my son.
We often learn how to be a father from the examples of our fathers. But we should not imitate everything that our father is. Yes, I learned a lot from my father, but he is far from perfect. I see patterns in my life which are not healthy, which will not benefit my son.
So I need to make this commitment, the first of my seven resolutions…
Resolved, that I as a child of God will be an imitator of our heavenly Father as he exemplifies true fatherhood.
As an earthly father to my son, I will seek to imitate God our Father in heaven. God is my Provider; I will provide for my son. God disciplines me as a son; I will discipline my son. God is a God of love, mercy and grace; I will be a father of love, mercy and grace to our child.
How about you? How’s your relationship with God the Father? How do you think it affects your relationship with your children?