Devoted Fathers

Average reading time is about 5 and a half minutes
AN AMAZING FACT:  Some of the most devoted fathers are found in the animal kingdom. Giant South African bullfrogs are so protective of their young they have been known to attack lions and elephants while defending tadpoles. Strangely enough, an ocean catfish is also a devoted father. He carries the eggs of his young in his mouth until they are ready to be born, which may take up to several weeks. During that time, he can’t eat a thing!

Another devoted father is the lumpsucker fish. The lumpsucker gets its name from its pelvic fins, which form a “sucker” that helps the fish attach itself to rocks. Found in the cold Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans, the lumpsucker must reproduce in the warmer water near the shore. The female lays her eggs in a tide pool, and the father lumpsucker attaches to the rocks in order to stay behind and guard the eggs while the tide is out. Staying behind in the shallow water is dangerous, however, since it exposes the father fish to gulls and other predators.

Male seahorses are so devoted that they are pregnant instead of the female: the female places her eggs into the male’s special pouch, where he fertilizes them and carries them for the next several weeks. He even develops a large, pregnant belly as the little seahorses grow. After two to four weeks of pregnancy, the father gives birth to an average of 100 to 200 young.

The red fox is also a wonderful father. Immediately after the birth of his litter, he works to provide the nursing mother with food. But, once the pups are three months old, it’s time for them to learn to find food for themselves. Fox fathers have been observed burying food near the den in order to teach their pups to forage. One biologist observed a male fox playing an ambush game with his pups, as if to teach them how to escape from the predatory coyotes.

The devotion of these animal fathers to their young is just a small reflection of our Heavenly Father’s devotion to His children. He loved us so much that He gave Jesus to die in our place, and now He calls all of us His sons and daughters: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).

KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. Psalms 103:13


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