I once read about John Mellencamp that when his daughter was growing up she had no idea that her father was known to the world as John “Cougar” Mellencamp, long-time rock musician. It wasn’t that he necessarily hid it from her; it was more that he additionally had talent in the visual arts and growing up she primarily saw him painting and always assumed he was an artist. Imagine her surprise at some point when she realized he was famous for being a musician! It certainly didn’t make much difference to her, though, because to that girl John Mellencamp was first and foremost just her daddy.
I have a pretty famous Father too! Many know of Him and know Him as well (I have many adopted brothers and sisters!), but I am blessed that our relationship is unique to us, very special and continually growing. Though I think I know Him well, it is also exciting for me to learn anew about Him every day! All those who know my Father know additional and different things about Him and it’s amazing to discover those things for myself. At the end of the day though, I love that at the heart of our relationship, I get to call Him Abba, my Father, Daddy.
I really wish that loving and Good Father was each person’s introduction to our God. A solid foundation of understanding that we are deeply loved, protected and cared for by a Good Father who knows how to give good gifts to his children is paramount to seeing the other aspects of His character in a pure and correct light. Yes, God possesses characteristics of one who judges, is wrathful and jealous. That’s in the Bible too. However, so many people are introduced to God based on these characteristics that they spend their whole lives fearful or running from God.
When I was a child, if I had told every kid in my class, “My dad hits me with a belt repeatedly and often,” (to which he can attest!) and it was the only piece of information I ever told them about my earthly father none of my classmates would ever want to step foot in my house! What I failed to mention is that my dad also used to hug and cuddle me, tell me he loved me often, met all my physical needs, and protected me from many outside forces. The discipline part always followed disobedience on my part in some form, and was often accompanied by a discussion about why it was important that I not do whatever it was I had done, then a hug, and then a spanking! Truly, my dad was and continues to be a pretty great guy. How much more does our Heavenly Father do the same for us?
But just in case you need a reminder, here are some great scriptures to read as you seek God as Good Father:
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him… But the father said to his servants, `Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” (Luke 15:20b, 22-24)
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26)
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, `Abba, Father.’” (Romans 8:15)
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us…. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his [children].” (Ephesians 1:3-5)
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1)