We can summarize the qualities of fatherhood that Jesus reveals to us from God in the father in the following ten points:
First, the Father takes delight in his children. “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased,” God the Father thunders at Jesus’ baptism (Mt 3:17). Fathers must express their love for and joy in their children. This is the basic underpinning for all paternal interactions.
Second, the Father loves unconditionally. Jesus says he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Mt 5:45). So fathers must love children who are easy or difficult to love.
Third, the Father cares about every one of his children, not wanting one to perish (Mt 18:14).
Fourth, the Father is generous. Even more than parents know how to give good gifts to their children, he will give of himself to all his children who ask (Mt 6:26; 7:11).
Fifth, he is observant. He sees what is done in secret and rewards. He pays such good attention that he knows what is needed even before it is asked (Mt 6:4, 8).
Sixth, he teaches those who are docile (Mt 11:25-26; Mt 16-17; Jn 6:44-46).
Seventh, he is merciful. Human fathers are explicitly called to be as merciful as he is (Lk 6:36).
Eighth, he disciplines out of love. We see this throughout the Old Testament. “What son is there whom his father does not discipline?,” the Letter to the Hebrews queries (12:5-11). There can be no disciples without loving discipline.
Ninth, the Father works. “My Father is working still,” Jesus says (Jn 5:17). It’s key for fathers to be hard-workers and to help their kids become hard workers, in the image of Christ who imitated his Father’s and foster father’s hard work.
Lastly, he wants to share life to the full with his children (Jn 6:40). Human fathers should likewise make it their will and desire to share their earthly life with their children and strive with their children to share eternal life together.