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God Wants You To Know Him as a Perfect Father

god the father
Photo courtesy of Passion City Church

God is All-Powerful, King, Creator, Holy, All-Knowing, Ruler and Lord. But all of God’s attributes and names are wrapped in the skin of a Father. A Father who gave you life, uniquely created you, adores you, and has spanned heaven and hearth to be with you.

At first glance the reality that God wants you to relate to Him as a father can be good or not-so-good news. We all have a specific picture of what a father is like that, for better or worse, is primarily based on our relationship with our earthly dads. Although God is loving and inviting and trustworthy and dependable, it’s as if something—or someone—constructed a barrier that makes it difficult to take in this amazing aspect of God’s character. Our view is being blocked by a flawed understanding of what a father is.

That’s the challenge inherent with declaring God is a Father. All of our earthly fathers have fallen short, some more than others. Some fathers proved themselves true—time and time again. But others proved false—and this also happened time and time again. Let’s face it. There’s a fatherhood crisis in our world. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, one in four kids live in a home without a dad. That’s a quarter of the children in the U.S. waking up each day without any type of father present in their lives. Yet, such a staggering realization shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The Enemy seeks to destroy fatherhood. He wants to break apart our image of what a good father is. He wants to destroy families and wreck the relationships between fathers and their kids. If he can shatter our picture of good earthly fathers, then he might in turn blast our image of our perfect heavenly Father. And if the Enemy can’t completely shatter our image of God, maybe he can mess with it just enough to keep us from living fully free.

Some of you know that although your dad’s not perfect, he’s doing his best. Your dad is or was a really good father, and whether he’s still present in your life, or death has taken him from you, his blessing is a big part of who you’re becoming. There are more than a few dads like this in the world.

This father is a kind, strong, encouraging dad. When it comes to loving his family, this father is the one who constantly does his best. He might still wear Bermuda shorts with dark socks and dress shoes when he goes to the mall, but he’s always telling his kids he loves them. He’s the guy who makes every attempt to be there for his children.

Are you fortunate enough to know a good father? This dad, when you were little, stuck his head inside your bedroom door at night and said, “Hey, I just want you to know I love you. You’re my favorite son!” You smiled as you heard him say those same words to your brother down the hall.

But what if your view of what a father is has been shattered? How do you move forward if your trust in the one who should have been the most trustworthy person in your life (your earthly dad) has been damaged or corrupted or blurred? How can you celebrate the fact that there is a great God in heaven who wants you to know Him as Abba? If God is a father like yours, why would you want anything to do with Him?

Well, here’s the good news—the life-altering news: God is not the reflection of your earthly dad. He is the perfection of your earthly dad. God’s not just a bigger version of your earthly father. He’s everything you’ve ever wanted your dad to be and more.

This is great news for us all! Even if your dad is a really wonderful father, you still don’t want him to be your God, and you don’t want God to be exactly like him. You want a God who is somewhat like him but infinitely better. And that’s what you have.

And if you’ve been trying to overcome the wounds of a terrible earthly dad, and you’re thinking you’ll never be able to relate to God as a father because you don’t even know how, I encourage you to think again. Even if your dad left a wake of pain and confusion and weakened you more than he helped make you strong, you can still imagine what it would have been like if things had been different.