The Hausvater Project

Hausvater: /HAUS-fah-ter/
noun (German)
1. Housefather.
2. Spiritually responsible head of household, including the housefather as assisted by the housemother.
>> Example: "As the Hausvater should teach it [Christian doctrine] to the entire family ..."
(Martin Luther, Small Catechism, 1529)

Hymnody & Liturgy

A Faithful Father


I am your faithful Father above,
You are My children, lavished with love.
I have redeemed you, called you by name.
Jesus, My Son, bore all of your shame.

 

Click here to download all six verses, including a musical score.

Composition Notes

Each line in this hymn has been derived from one or more Scripture verses.

  • Verse 1: Psalm 145; 1 John 3:1; Isaiah 43:1; Hebrews 12:2–3; Psalm 34:5
  • Verse 2: 1 John 3:1; 1 John 4:16; 1 John 5:1-6; John 15:9–12
  • Verse 3: Deuteronomy 6:7; Luke 17:2
  • Verse 4: Psalm 127:3; Psalm 103:13; 2 Timothy 4:2; Ephesians 6:18
  • Verse 5: Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 12:23
  • Verse 6: Luke 18:13,14, the Kyrie ("Lord, Have Mercy"), and Revelation 22:12
  • See also: Luke 1:17; Psalm 103; Malachi 4:5,6

I wrote “A Faithful Father” in the years following a traumatic brain injury in 2005, when I almost went to be with my Jesus. My mind was in a constant state of fight or flight for a year and a half. I suffered other painful symptoms, and my body was dying. During that time, I could remember everything, including everything I read in the Word. Although I was living in a heightened and constant state of fear for quite some time, the only thing I never feared was death and being with my Savior. I can only describe those times as the Holy Spirit’s work, a tremendous “pouring” into my heart. People would say things like, “She’s crazy” or “She needs counsel.” God knew better. Those comments were the furthest things from the truth, as it was in those weakest and most trying times, that I walked closest to God and understood His Word most clearly. He was and always will be my “Wonderful Counselor”! It was very difficult, to say the least, on my husband and five children. However, God performed a miracle and healed me completely. He has brought tremendous blessings out of the trials. He has given us seven children now, and they reap the benefits, especially spiritual, of those years when I walked so closely with my loving and faithful Heavenly Father. He is our everything! To Him be all praise and glory forever and ever!

I pray the hymn is a blessing to fathers and their families. God’s peace to you and your family. A blessed Father’s Day!

Performance Notes

When I’ve played this hymn in church, the male who does the speaking part will say after the last verse, “I write to you, dear children because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name” (from 1 John 2) along with the final line of music. It finishes up nicely with the Gospel after the last verse of confession.

When I play this hymn, I like to break up the verses with a few short musical interludes:

  1. after v. 1: “Jesus Loves Me This I Know, for the Bible Tells Me So,” then continue with verse 2
  2. after v. 3: “Children of the Heavenly Father,” then continue with verse 4
  3. after v. 5: “There Is Hope for All Who Grieve, Jesus Sinners Does Receive,” then continue with verse 6

 

Mrs. Heather Schulz, the wife of Shoreland Lutheran High School instructor Dan Schulz and mother of their seven children, lives in southern Wisconsin.

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TAGS: Fatherhood, Hymnody

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