I came from a family with a silent father. He was never really pleased or displeased with me, but mainly disinterested. After enough disappointments and unmet promises in my childhood, he became a non-figure in my life. We lived in the same house, but we barely spoke to each other unless completely necessary.

Although I was born into a Christian family, it was in church sermons that the concept of God being a Father was introduced to me. God was not just a powerful and distant cosmic figure, but also one who wanted to be a Father. This was mind-boggling for me, because putting my earthly father and God side-by-side didn’t help me understand God at all.

So I prayed and asked: “Could you unveil what this whole “Father” thing means? Because I don’t get why I need you to be a father to me.”

Slowly, He opened my eyes to see my world, and His love, in a very different light.

First, He assured me that he wants to be my Father: “And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18 NLT) And not just Father, but “Abba” (Romans 8:15), the affectionate Aramaic word for “Daddy”.

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15 NASB)

Have you ever seen a young child running and leaping confidently into their dad’s embrace? There’s not a moment of doubt or hesitation that Daddy wouldn’t catch them. That confidence stems not from their love for their father, but because they know Daddy loves them and is going to catch them no matter what.

Even if your understanding of a father is similar to mine, the version of fathering that God wants us to know Him as is wrapped up in that word: Abba.

“And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” (Luke 12:7 NLT)

You may not have grown up with the father you wanted to have. You may have experienced nothing but disappointment up to this point. But start to see God as a caring, loving Dad who doesn’t just love you from a distance but is interested in every detail of your life.

He wants you to know that He’s got your back. That if you run into his arms, He’s going to catch you and hold you real tight. He’s not going to carelessly leave you behind or drop you by accident.

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1 NLT)

This might be in stark contrast to the earthly father you’re familiar with, but this is God’s invitation to you. He left the word “Abba” untranslated in the Bible so that we would see God as the Daddy He wants to be for us.

No matter the impression you’ve had of fathers up till this point, will you be willing to replace it with God’s version of a father’s love for you instead?

This was first posted and republished with permission from Decibel.one.

  1. Have you struggled to relate to God as a Father? Why?
  2. What do you think is God’s perception of you as His child?
  3. What is stopping you from embracing God as your Father?
  4. What are ways you can reconcile and honour with your earthly father?