Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Daddy Issues

I've known some friends who when they pray, they call God "Daddy or dad".

I think they're weird.

God as King I get.

God as Creator I can get behind.

God as Savior, spot on.

God the Master makes sense.

Even God as a universal Father, I can endorse.

But my dad? That's weird.

There's probably a couple reasons...

First, maybe a bit of a disconnect with my dad. My dad was a good dad. But just like every other dad, he had imperfections. He was flawed. And there were some things that disappointed me.

So to make the leap from my dad to God as my dad has some ground to cover.

Maybe you can relate. All the hope that your dad would provide security and safety and comfort and love and complete attentiveness and protection and nurture and joy and satisfaction and etc. etc. etc. And the reality is that your dad didn't meet all those expectations all the time.

And in some cases, not only did he fail to provide perfect safety, but he actively did the opposite, causing harm and pain. And to leap to understanding God as dad is further than you could ever jump.

Second, I feel like the personal, intimate reference to God as my dad is sacrilegious and takes away from the Divine sovereignty of God.

The king of kings, lord of lords, God of nations, God of angelic armies, God my shield, Author and Perfector, Alpha and Omega...and daddy?

I've been walking through the gospel of Luke and my heart is changing.

Jesus' first words in Luke (which we presume are an important message from the author)?
"Didn't you know I had to be in MY FATHER'S house?"

A 12 year old boy making a declarative statement to Mary and Joseph about his unique positioning as the son of God. THE father would have been acceptable. OUR father, indicating a universal parent could have been received. But Jesus says "MY FATHER". He is making it clear from the outset that this IS intimate and this IS personal.

In fact, 18 times in Luke alone, Jesus refers to God as Father, far and away more than any other name or reference.

And when Jesus begins his public ministry? What happens? He is baptized and hasn't done anything and the heavens open, and the voice of God says, "This is my son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased."

Sonship. Prior to any act of obedience. Prior to any ministry accomplished. God the Father says "Look at my son. Isn't he great?"

And something is stirring in me.

What if rejecting God as my dad is rejecting the essence of the Gospel?

What if God is whispering that my desire for my dad to be safety and security and protection and joy and comfort and love and satisfaction is not a bad desire...it's just misplaced. Of course my dad couldn't live up to that standard. Nor will I live up to that for Chaia. I will crumble under the weight of such lofty expectations. But what if God wants me to know that I can indeed find security and safety and protection and joy and comfort and love and satisfaction IN HIM?

Chaia can be a frustrating kid...defiant...pesky...just like any three year old. But she is my kid. And the fondness I have for her in my heart is deeper than her disobedience. My love and affection for her go further than my frustration.

She's my kid. And I am proud of her. I am pleased with her. I delight in her. I genuinely enjoy her. (Sometimes despite her!)

And lately it's as if God is saying...


Maybe, God as my dad isn't so weird after all.


Kwolfinger said...

Hey...I always enjoy reading your blog and the thoughts you share! I have always felt that Jesus referred to God as his Father because it brings a personal touch. If all we had is saying God is Lord or King,it provides a disconnect. I don't know about you, but I've never had a personal conversation with a King, let alone a relationship. I think it is Jesus' way of allowing us to see God in a more personal way. (I've been one of the weird ones, I guess, connecting with God as my daddy!) Peace, my friend!

Nana Cindy said...

So grateful for the opportunity to parent two precious daughters! Something holy and awesome in the parallels between parenting my own children, and God parenting me. It has totally expanded my understanding of relationship with Him.

You may remember that Grandpa Penrod called God, "Papa". I am deeply drawn to intimacy with Him, and joyfully call Him, "Daddy"

Anonymous said...

God is also called Abba, Father, so for me it is perfect! He is my Father, Dad, love of my life for without that "role model" as my Dad in my life I shutter to think where I would be. My "earthly" father was never able to provide the love, tenderness, peace, joy, or comfort, even correction like my Heavenly Father so to call Him my Dad has always been ok. After all, He is the perfect role model no matter how we identify Him and if that is what keeps Him center in our life then to call Him Dad is OK!!!

Mama Karen said...

God wants a personal intimate relationship with us. How fitting that he is our Abba Father. He knew we could relate to a father son intimacy. I'm glad when I don't know where to turn I can crawl up on my Father God's lap and ask him to hold me and take away the pain and fears and dry my tears. I'm glad we have a Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally.

Anonymous said...

This was a great post. Sinclair Ferguson's Children of the Living God has been a real help to me in understanding who I am in Christ. The book will take you deeper into
Sonship. I recommend it.