Jesus refers to God as ‘Abba’ Father over one hundred times in the Gospel of John alone. When asked by His disciples to teach them to pray, He started His lesson with ‘Our Father’. This name for God points to the level of intimacy that we are made to have with God. When He was challenged by the Pharisees and scribes about spending time with sinners, He let us understand His longing to receive, forgive and abide with us, by giving us the picture of the joyful father who welcomed his prodigal son home.
God is the perfect Father. Our earthly fathers are not. We are not. There are places in our hearts where only our own father has human arms long enough to touch. These same arms can bless or hurt us. The same is true with our own children. We have access to places in their lives that only their father can reach. I lay down a threefold challenge for Father’s Day.
- 1. Many or most of us have fathers who messed up by their actions or inactions. These wounds often go deep; impacting future generations if not forgiven. Spend the time in prayer and ask God to help you in this work of forgiveness. Forgive Him for his imperfections. Our true identity is not in our daddy’s sin.
- Many of us have messed up as fathers. Seek forgiveness from your children for your imperfections. Yes, ask them to forgive you. Sin is part of our human condition. Forgiveness is a gift from God. Our identity is not in our sins. Our biblical title is not sinner. We are saints who often sin and are forgiven when we turn from them.
- Draw close to the Heavenly Father in His perfection. One of the most hurtful times many of us experience is when we discover that our dads are not perfect. Only God is this perfect father. Only He can give us the way, wisdom and courage to be the fathers, the mothers, the sons and the daughters that He intends us to be. Our identity is in Christ. We truly are new creations. That is our creators will and way. He is our Abba; Daddy.