The Bible refers to God as our Father many times. While this title is often used in prayer and teaching, some Christians struggle to perceive God as Father. After all, our concept of fatherhood comes from flawed, human parents. How can we think of God as our perfect Father if our earthly fathers fell short?
God wants us to see Him as our Father, but we can struggle with this concept for multiple reasons. Whether the issues stem from our own childhood or from misunderstanding, we may not fully understand what God is trying to say. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between our Heavenly and earthly fathers.God wants us to call Him Father, but a flawed view of fatherhood put forward by imperfect parents may hinder that for many Christians. Here’s why the distinction between our Heavenly vs earthly fathers is so important. #ORBC #biblestudy Click To Tweet
Why the Difference is Important
Most of us remember what our dads were or are like. However, it’s important to remember that our dads are human. Even the best fathers in the world will inevitably mess up, make poor decisions, or not be entirely kind or fair to their families. As Christians, we have to remember that God is perfect and will never make the same mistakes that our earthly fathers did. Keeping the line distinct between our earthly fathers and Heavenly Father helps us view God with the reverence and understanding He truly deserves.
Why Some Christians Struggle to Call God “Father”
None of us had perfect fathers. But some of us may have dealt with fathers or father figures who failed us. Some were absent or aloof, while others were outright abusive and cruel. For believers with this experience, calling God “Father” may cause hesitation at best and panic at worst. The negative associations with a father figure are simply too strong to overcome.
If this is your experience, remember that while calling God “Father” is a privilege, it’s not a command. Your relationship with God doesn’t change regardless of whether you address Him as “Father” or simply “Lord”. God no more stops being your Creator and Provider than your mother stops being your mother if you called her by a different title. As long as the title you choose is acceptable to God, you are under no obligation to use the term “Father” if the term brings up painful memories.
Grow Deeper: The Bible says we have the right to call God “Abba”, an ancient Aramaic term roughly equivalent to “Daddy”. God wants a level of intimacy with us that rivals any relationship we have with our earthly parents.
Remembering Who God Is
Our human fathers will (and have) inevitably fallen short of perfection. But God is everything that the perfect Father should be. He is our protector, provider, healer, creator, sustainer, corrector, and comforter. The biblical image of God as both King and Father is no accident. God simultaneously fulfills the role of omnipotent, omnipresent God who handles everything in the universe, but also the caring Father who has time to listen to each of His children at any time. It’s an incomprehensible thought, yet a priceless one.
Your Relationship with God
The truth is, none of us had a perfect father. Even the best dads in the world mess up. But our Heavenly Father will never make a mistake or fail us, even if it feels that way sometimes. Your relationship with your Heavenly Father will always outshine even the best relationship with an earthly father.
Join the conversation to learn more about your relationship with God.