Fatherhood: A Revelation of God’s Paternal Nature
I have always been a ‘Daddy’s Girl’. My sister and I have always enjoyed being close to our father. He has been a rock and anchor in our family and home, providing a clear example of godly values and principles, leadership, and being a source of constant love, strength, stability, and wisdom. He has sacrificed time and again for us and our family in providing the security, safety and provision we all need, giving more than we could dare ask for. He is more than a father – he’s a dad. Because of my father I am the woman I am today. The relationship I have with my dad and the pride I have in him is something I treasure deeply. My desire is to honor him for the man he is to all of us. This Father’s Day I have an opportunity to celebrate him, and the role he has faithfully fulfilled in our family.
Yet I realize that not everyone has had the same privilege and blessing my sister and I have had. Therefore, I want to talk about fatherhood from a divine perspective that reveals the heart of God for those whom God terms “fatherless”. I don’t think there could be any greater void, and I realize it’s a very painful one for many.
Being fatherless can come about in many ways. You may have a father, yet he is absent from your life much of the time because of work or other obligations outside of family. Perhaps you lost your dad to tragedy. Perhaps your father abandoned you at birth. In cases such as this you may not know your father at all. Others may have a father who is incapacitated due to illness, addictions, and other maladies. Every situation is unique. But there is one common denominator among all of those who are fatherless, and that is the terrible void of their absence in the lives of their families.
In this post I’d like to focus on the paternal nature of God, which is revealed to us in His role as a Father. Of all the roles God fulfills, this one is describes the heart of who He really is. God is a Father. Jesus Christ introduced Him to us as God the Father, and it is by this very term that God is commonly recognized. It best defines Him in several ways which I plan to discuss in this post. By the time we are done, God’s role as Father will become clearer, and we will also discover His compassionate heart for those who are fatherless. Whether you’re already a father, or aspire to be one, I believe this post will bless you.
Encountering Father God
As a new believer my relationship was centered upon Jesus Christ, and that relationship with Him was satisfying and fulfilling. Yet the day came when Christ introduced me to the Father, who was a distinct personality in the Trinity. Trying to describe this experience is not easy, but just as one encounters the person of the Holy Spirit, it became clear to me that we can also encounter the Father. The three persons of the Trinity, which are one God, are each unique, serving distinct roles.
When Jesus Christ introduces you to the Father it’s an incredible experience. I remember that introduction myself as a young Christian. I had an encounter with Daddy God that I’ll never forget. All I can say is…”WOW!” Talk about power and glory! And His LOVE is life-changing! I have never been the same. I love to run to Daddy God! He brings me the comfort, peace, safety, security, and love I need. Never have I encountered such power, tenderness and strength. In His presence I felt cradled as His very own child. I suddenly understood the reality of my utter dependency, why Jesus Christ also demonstrated this dependency, and why He was devastated when He was separated from Him on the cross. Jesus Christ is the Son of Man and the Son of God, which allows us to relate to Him on our level. But when Christ introduced me to the Father God, it was different. His enormity was overwhelming. His awesomeness is exponential. I sensed a vastness that is beyond description. Awesome and glorious somehow become weak words in trying to describe Him.
Jesus said that no one comes to the Father but by Him. His own relationship with His Father God was marked by intimacy, reverence, and power, and the all-consuming desire to perform His perfect will upon earth as it was in heaven. There were instances in the Gospels when Jesus would say something publicly, and His Father responded audibly from heaven for all to hear. This happened at His baptism, during His transfiguration, and when Christ asked Him to glorify His name. This special person in the Trinity known as ‘Abba Father’ longs to know us intimately as His sons and daughters. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to bring us back home to Him, so that we may fellowship with Him and walk with Him intimately while here on earth, even as Jesus Christ did – even as Adam did in the beginning. That deep desire for intimacy and fellowship with us is what motivated the Father to send His own Son so that mankind would be redeemed back to Him again.
Without the Father, we would never know the Son.
And without the Son, we would never know the Father.
Jesus Christ made it clear that He has revealed the Father to us clearly. He is the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form.
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him, (John 14:6-7, KJV).
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, (Colossians 2:9, KJV).
The best way I can describe the Father God is to say that He is the perfect blend of tenderness and strength. This is perhaps the most endearing and prominent trait or quality in His personality. His heart is extraordinarily soft. Yet He is profoundly and extraordinarily powerful. He is truly awesome. He holds all power and authority in all of creation (which He has granted to His Son). The awesomeness of His being is overwhelming beyond description, and is part of what makes Him glorious. For this very reason He deserves the utmost respect, reverence and fear. He is lavish in His love, mercy, kindness, and grace – so much so that it has broken me at times, because I knew I deserved otherwise. Everything the Father does is motivated by love, justice and mercy.
When we understand who we are in relation to God the Father – that we are His children – that relationship is marked by security, and the sanctity of being created in His divine image. The only reason we’re here is because of Him.
When you understand the unlimited power of Father God – that He is the divine Patriarch from whom all creation stems, we come to understand His role as Father God. He is the absolute perfect parent.
Everything the Godhead does is performed in unanimous agreement. There is no division in the Trinity. Every part works together to accomplish the perfect and ordained will of God. We see an example of this in Genesis 1:26 when we see the word “Us” used in this particular verse wherein man was made in God’s image.
Father God is the head of the Trinity. He fulfills a divine role which gives command to all the others. He is the One who initiates the will of the Godhead. It was from Him that Jesus Christ took His divine orders, and fulfilled them through the power of the Holy Spirit. He did only what the Father showed Him, and spoke only what He heard Him say. He was in constant and unbroken communion with Him. So we see the relationship of the Son – one of dependence and obedience, which He demonstrated for us all. As sons and daughters of God, we need to understand that our dependence upon Him is no different. Through Christ’s dependency, we come to recognize our own. It is through the fullness of the Spirit that Christ was able to fulfill the Father’s will on earth as it is in heaven. And so it is with us as well.
As children of God, human beings are made in God’s image with three parts, even as the Trinity. We have a mind and will, even as the Father, by which we order our lives and have the power to think, discern, reason, and create. We have a body even as the Son by which we are enabled to carry out the will of God on earth as it is in heaven, even as Jesus did. And we have a spirit (or soul) by which we live, move and breathe. Our three parts work together at all times giving us the ability to fulfill our purpose in life.
Natural fatherhood is ordered an established after the pattern of our Father God. Father’s are the creators and leaders of the home and society. The entire design of man and their seminal abilities are powerful. God’s design was with strategic purpose: to give fathers the physical and spiritual headship in the home and society. Part of being made in God’s image as a father is the ability to create new life. But fatherhood doesn’t stop there – that’s merely where it begins. To be a father as God intends, one must also embrace the heart of Father God as well. This includes the tender love and strength coupled with the power and the responsibility to raise, sustain, guide and establish the family in carrying out God’s will and order in the home and society. This is an enormous responsibility, and a high honor.
The father’s role carries a great weight when we understand the pattern Father God has clearly established through His own divine example and the creation of man.
Father to the Fatherless
God is the Father of the fatherless. His heart breaks for those who are without a father, regardless of the reason for their absence.
Despite the fact that you may be without a father, this does not mean you have to remain fatherless. Father God wants to change your status and invite you into a loving relationship with Him. Perhaps you don’t know this, but His heart breaks for you. Being a Father Himself, He is moved with deep compassion for those who have never known the love and support of a father. Your fatherless state was never God’s intention or design. He wants to reveal His heart to you intimately. There is nothing that will get His back up quicker than someone mistreating or oppressing an orphan or fatherless child. He comes to their defense swiftly and with great judgment.
I’d like to show you some scriptures about how God feels toward you, and how He deals with those who would mistreat you. The loving-kindness, compassion and mercy you’ll find in Father God is astounding. To be a father is a very great and high honor – and God is the Father of us all.
There is much to be said about fatherhood in the Bible, but here are some specific scriptures revealing God’s heart for the fatherless and the provisions he makes especially for them.
• He executes the judgment of the fatherless (Deuteronomy 10:18)
• Judgement for the fatherless is not to be perverted (Deuteronomy 24:17)
• God commands special provisions for the fatherless during harvest (Deuteronomy 24:19,20)
• Those who hurt the fatherless set a snare for themselves, reaping judgment from God (Job 22:9-11)
• He is the helper of the fatherless (Psalm 10:14)
• The Lord is King, delivering the fatherless from the oppressor by His judgment (Psalm 10:16-18)
• He is the Father of the fatherless (Psalm 68:4, 5)
• The Lord preserves and relieves the fatherless (Psalm 146:8-10)
• The Lord declares great woe to those who rob and oppress the fatherless (Isaiah 10:1-3)
• In the Lord the fatherless find mercy (Hosea 14:1-3)
• The Lord will swiftly judge those who oppress the fatherless (Malachi 3:5)
• Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is to visit the fatherless in their affliction (James 1:27)
King David says this:
When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up, (Psalm 27:10, KJV).
“Take me up” means to adopt, plead your case, support your cause, and to take care of you.
If you have never known your father, or if you have been bereaved of your father prematurely, you can know today that God the Father has your very personal interest at heart. He’s ready to step in. You can know Him intimately as “Abba Father”, even as Jesus knew Him (see Romans 8:15).
The word “Abba” actually means “Daddy”. This is a very affectionate term. Jesus used this term frequently. During His greatest trial and temptation in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus cried out to His Father using this very word: “Abba!” You have every right to call Him “Daddy”, too. The reason Jesus came and died on the cross was to restore the intimate relationship with our Father God. Daddy God is the One who initiated salvation in the gift of His one and only Son.
The Father’s gift of His Son reveals His compassionate heart of love for us.
In His elaborate and extravagant gift we see the heart of the Father God clearly displayed before mankind.
Your father may have let you down or even hurt you. Perhaps your idea of a father is not something you even want to celebrate. But Father God is the perfect father. He takes a very special interest in those like you who may have been mistreated or abused. He is able to protect, guide, teach, and defend you in ways no one else can. He is able to raise you up as His very own son or daughter. There is a gleam in His eye and a tender place in His heart just for you. You are the recipient of a special grace and mercy because of your fatherless state. He is full of compassion toward you, and desires to show you what a real Father is like, bringing healing, wholeness, and restoration to your life.
Becoming a Father After God’s Own Heart
If you have never known a father, and have doubts about your abilities to be a good father to your own children, I want to encourage you. You may be wondering if you will measure up. I would like to respond by shouting a loud and resounding, “YES!!!” Oh, absolutely, yes!!! In fact, I believe you can become an even better father, because you know what you so desperately needed and were missing. Sometimes lack is an excellent teacher. I know this first hand, because my father was fatherless himself.
My sister and I have been very blessed by a wonderful father who grew up fatherless. My dad was the youngest of six children, being raised in poverty, and was the only one in his family to finish college. I remember my dad telling me stories about eating bread crumbs with water for cereal, sleeping in one room together on the floor, and going barefoot in the summer because shoes were too expensive. He and his siblings worked hard to make that dream of going to college a reality for him. Because of my dad’s lack, he knew exactly what kind of father he wanted to become. That lack was the trump card for him in the hand he was dealt. And because of his own fatherless life, he pursued Father God as his role model.
My dad’s fatherless state and his pursuit of Father God made him the father He is today.
I grew up as a girl watching my father pray to Father God faithfully every morning, every night, and before every meal. Because of his fatherless state, he received a greater grace and was enabled to become not just a good father – but an excellent father. You can become that kind of father, too. My father is a wonderful man of God who loves the Lord and has established a close-knit family on a firm foundation. He is a man of honor, faith, integrity, and excellence. He is generous, kind, loving and supportive. He’s always been there for us, working hard, loving hard, going the extra mile, and supporting us in our endeavors both morally and financially. He made our dreams his own dreams, and sacrificed to make those dreams a reality for us. Because of him, my sister and I are the women we are today.
I could not be more honored to celebrate my dad this Father’s Day. I encourage you to celebrate Father’s Day, too. You have a Father who loves you, who is ready to support, defend, and cheer you on with the angelic armies of heaven at His command.
Fathers are critically important.
They are both the foundation and backbone of society.
They deserve to be celebrated and honored.
Although I have a wonderful earthly father, this does not mean I don’t need my heavenly one. We all need Daddy God. As His daughter, I have experienced His divine parenting for myself many, many times on numerous occasions. He has raised me up in ways that no parent ever could because He is GOD. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent with all the resources of heaven and earth at His command. Father God is AWESOME! He is incredibly sweet, merciful, patient, kind and loving. Even when I’ve been in trouble, He’s shown me His unconditional love and mercy. He has rescued me time and again, turning me every which way but loose, holding me close to His tender heart with the loving arms, speaking faithful words of encouragement. He has never condemned me – not once. And believe me, I’ve certainly been worthy of it!
God is the ultimate Father – and He is REAL. He takes His divine role as Heavenly Father very, very seriously. His heart breaks for those who don’t know Him as their own.
As we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, please do not be discouraged or feel left out. You have a Father who loves you. I want you to realize how precious you are to Him. He wants to change your status from “fatherless” to “son or daughter of God”. Daddy God has a special invitation just for you. He is waiting to step in, take you up, and become the greatest Father you could ever possibly know.
And I want to give a loud kudos to all the father’s out there who love strong, work hard, and strive to lead, guide and support their families within society. You’re our heroes. Thank you for being who you are. Fatherhood is huge. And there just isn’t enough to say thank you adequately for what you really do, for what you patiently and secretly endure, and for the strategic roles you play. To all the fathers out there: you are a foundational key not only for your own sons and daughters, but for all of us in society. You’re awesome and are worthy of extraordinary honor. You are loved, needed, and divinely inspired.
Happy Father’s Day!
Cheers & Shalom,