When Father's Day is Difficult
- Thursday, June 09, 2011
Few women I know had a great relationship with their Dad.
In fact, when I speak to women about God as our Heavenly Father, there are often women in the audience who later tell me “I didn’t know what it was like to have a loving father, so I certainly can’t see God that way.”
Wounds abound from women who have never experienced the love of a father, who have been disappointed, hurt deeply, or even abused by a father, or who have never had the kind of relationship with a father figure to where they could call him Daddy. Because of that, Father’s Day may hold for you a sting. It may be a painful reminder each year of what you never had. It might bring a feeling of guilt for not sending a card when the reality is that you can’t find one that honestly describes your father, only the father you wish you had. If that’s the case, let me encourage you with the news that God wants to more than make up for what you may have lacked in a loving father here on this earth.
Scripture tells us three wonderful things about your true Father, if you are in relationship with Jesus Christ.
1. Your Heavenly Father Wanted You as His Child
We are all God’s creation. But we are not all God’s children. Scripture says we are all, by nature, children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3), but God found a way to adopt us as His own. I used to envy adopted children because they could not say they were “accidents” or unplanned when it came to being in their family. Their adoptive parents wanted them so much they found a way to get them.
Our Heavenly Father did the same for us. He found a way to make us His own, even though we were set apart from Him at birth. Romans 5:8-21 says “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” And Romans 8:15-39 says we have been given the spirit of adoption, through that death and resurrection that Christ endured on our behalf. That means you weren’t an unplanned or unwanted child. You were not an accident. Even if you feel no one on earth really wanted you, God did. And He found a way to make you His own.
2. Your Heavenly Father Wants You to Call Him “Daddy”
Scripture doesn’t just say we can call God our Father. The Bible tells us we have been given the right, through our adoption, to call Him “Daddy.”
Again, Romans 8:15 tells us we are given the spirit of adoption and “by him we cry ‘Abba, Father.’” The English word that is most close in meaning to the Aramaic word “Abba” is “Papa” or “Daddy.” Jesus used this affectionate, loving term for His Father when He prayed “Abba” or “Daddy” in the Garden of Gethsemane shortly before He was arrested and crucified. In crying out “Abba” Jesus showed His dependence on Daddy while contemplating His impending death. We can call upon our Heavenly Daddy as personally as God’s own loving Son, Jesus, did. That is a privilege. That is affection. And that is love between a Daddy and His daughter.
3. Your Heavenly Father wants you to rely on His protective love
My earliest recollections of time with my earthly Daddy are when he would take me for rides on his bicycle across town to Fred’s Café when I was three or four years old. Every afternoon, Dad would get out his bike and I would jump at the opportunity to sit in front of him on his bike with just his arm around me as he pedaled across town, over the railroad tracks and into the dirt parking lot of Fred’s. Even though it was a long ride, neither of us wore a helmet, the bike had no handbrakes (and many times Dad rode without hands), and we had to cross those bumpy railroad tracks every time, I never for a moment feared that I would fall or be hurt. I was up close next to Daddy. Daddy was holding me. Daddy would keep me safe.
It’s often been said that daughters have a special place in the hearts of their daddies. It’s no different with our Daddy in heaven. Every child of God has a special place in His heart. He asks us to ride with Him and He holds us close where we’ll be safe, even over the bumpy railroad tracks of life.
Deuteronomy 33:26-27 says “…no other god is like ours – he rides across the skies to come and help us. The eternal God is our hiding place; he carries us in his arms….”
If you happened to have a relationship with your father in which you could freely call him “Daddy” and trust in His love that is a blessing. God was giving you a glimpse of the fatherly love and affection He has for you. But if you didn’t, God is giving you an opportunity now to call Him Daddy and experience the closeness you’ve always longed for in a daddy-daughter relationship. Won’t you let your Heavenly Father fill that hole in your heart this Father’s Day?
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and the author of several books, including Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs, When Women Walk Alone, and Women on the Edge. For more on her books, ministry, and free resources, see www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.
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