God as Father

by Lee Stewart

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Father’s Day stirs up sentiment in people, for better or for worse. It can bring joy and nostalgia, or it can bring pain. For some, it may underline distance between family members. But whatever the word “father” means for families everywhere, it always means the same thing about God. He is a good Father. And that’s where I want to begin this post today.

One of the fastest lessons I learned when I stepped into motherhood was that it is a sturdy reflection of God as Father.

As I stared into a tiny face and let a tiny grip curl around my finger, I knew that if such love was even a shadow of God’s love, then I was loved deeply indeed. And as my children grew, this lesson grew as well.

Motherhood started out as a lot of snuggling, diapering, and nursing, but all too quickly launched me into a world of questions, frustrations, tantrums, and surprises. I am currently in three seasons at once with a newborn, a three year old, and a recent kindergarten graduate. What I continue to learn in every season is, it isn’t just my children who are being parented; as a mom, I am being parented by God my Father.  Whether I’m tending to a child in need of diapering or a child in need of disciplining, I’m sustained by God my Father. He gives love unconditionally, not at a distance, but through His own Son. Each day is an opportunity to foster this message.

In John we read the Word was “made flesh and dwelt among us.” God Incarnate stooped down low, right down into our material world, to redeem us from the inside out. He came to adopt us into His own family. He came to give us new hearts. When the dynamic of the home points to God as Father, and when we as mothers know God this way, then we show our children a God who is with us. When we empathize with our children, we help them learn about a God who empathizes. And when our children know they can trust us with their hardest questions, their lowest moments, and their joys both big and small, then we are helping them know about a God whose throne we can approach with confidence.

“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)

I pray my children will come to know God as Savior and Father.

I want them to know He is sufficient for the whole story, from justification to glorification.

I pray I will know Him more deeply so I can share Him more fully with my children.

Let us never underestimate the sort of evangelizing that happens at home.

It happens in fellowship with the Father, not just during the sermon at church and not just when we’re teaching right from wrong. It happens around the dinner table and on the way to the grocery store. When we give thanks, our lives are saying something about God as Father.  When financial situations get tight or when someone has a stomach bug, do we acknowledge God as Father? Rather than wringing our hands in fretfulness, do we trust in God our Father? And when doubt begins to squeeze us, do we admit our unbelief? Do we ask God to help us believe?

There is no reason to hide when unconditional love is at the core of it all.

We are fully accepted in the Beloved! This is the kind of truth I know I have to lean into if I am going to translate the love of the Father to my children. Otherwise I risk making my children feast on rules and regulations, rather than fattening their souls with the gospel.

Being a mother is a rich blessing. It is also a refining fire when I fall hard along the way. Being a mother shows me my need for Christ more profoundly and shows me the truth of the gospel more intimately. Being a mother draws my heart closer to God as Father.

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet He did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  Hebrews 4:14-16

Lee Stewart

*How incredible it is, as parents, to have the ultimate picture of “Father” in our Heavenly Father. We pray you know God as your true Father today. Let’s strive, above all else in our parenting, to point our children to God their Father. That’s truly the most important thing we can do for our families. Have a blessed weekend celebrating the earthly fathers in your life! 

*We love to hear from you! Leave a comment below, on Facebook, or via Twitter @missionalmotherhood. 

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