God took a real chance when He chose to use the term “Father” as His preferred designation. The Bibles uses many terms to describe who God is and how we relate to Him, but Jesus prefers to call Him “Father.” God wants us to know that He loves us like the best parents love their children. The problem is that the term “father” doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone.
Now God is the perfect Father. If someone has a father who is abusive or negligent, they still understand that fathers are not supposed to be abusive or negligent. God is the Father you didn’t have.
But even for people who have basically good fathers, thinking of God as Father can create problems. If our father allowed us too much freedom or gave us things without making any demands on us, we may expect God to do the same.
On the other hand, if our father was a strict disciplinarian, we may battle the opposite temptation. We may then try to work our way into God’s favor. We may never feel the inner peace that comes from knowing God’s grace.
Our relationship with our parents will affect how we relate to God as our Father. But God is the perfect Father. He patiently teaches us as we listen to and obey His word. As we grow in God’s grace, we are becoming grown-up brothers and sisters of Jesus and mature children of God.
Love in Christ,
Pastor, Rocky River Baptist Church