So I got into an interesting discussion about the nature of God because someone didn’t like the idea of God as Father. Since I just recently wrote a short article A Tale of Two Fathers, I thought I would continue this discussion on fathers.
This discussion centered around a simple thought. “I was abused by my father, and so I have trouble with God as a father. Can I instead view God as a mother?” At first glance you might think this is a harmless thought, but I want to point out why rather than harmless, it is a very significant question, and its answer will show much of how we understand the nature of God.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD:
This is a big issue for me. God is sovereign. Psalm 100:3 tells us, “Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” One of the important things to notice here is that God made things. this means that God gets to make the choice of How to reveal Himself.
Paul in his second letter to Timothy tells us this, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness…” 2nd Timothy 3:16 God inspired the authors of the Scripture. I believe in the Word of God, and I believe it is true, and it is How God chose to reveal Himself.
God chose to reveal Himself as a Father. The imagery is used time and time again in the Bible. If God had wanted to be revealed as a mother, why did He not chose to do so in the Bible? Many times in the scriptures God had opportunity to use the term mother, but instead He chose time and time again to be Father.
When Jesus was on the earth, He often spoke of The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as His FATHER. In Matthew chapter 6, when teaching the disciples to Pray, He began with the words, “Our Father in heaven…” If God wanted to relate to us as Mother, this would have been a great opportunity to reveal it.
Because God is sovereign, and creator, it is He who sets the terms for our encountering Him. This was evidenced in the Old Testament by how He taught the Israelites how he wanted to be worshiped or encountered, and He put some odd rules in place. Some of His rules were strict, like the one about not touching the Ark of the Covenant for fear of Death. I personally might think that was harsh, but still, God made the rules, and He enforced them. Just ask Uzzah, “And the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God.” 2nd Samuel 6:7 Wow that is pretty serious.
God is sovereign even in the New Testament, and He still set the rules for encounter. Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. Jesus’ Blood is the terms of encounter. It is the root of the Spirit of Adoption. Galatians 4 gives us insight here, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:4-6
This shows us that God is father, and His Son was born of a Human Mother. I will not go too deep into this point, but I will simply Say, God revealed Himself as father, that is the term he set in place. We have to relate to God on His terms and not our own.
MY FATHER SUCKED:
The next big portion of the question that needs to be addressed is the issue of an earthly father who was a failure, for some this is a father who was abusive, for other it was a father that was unloving, for Me personally it was a father who wasn’t there. My parents divorced when I was an infant, and I have never met my father.
Becuase of my missing father, I had issues with God as a father and I preferred to look at other aspects of His nature. I liked King, Friend, Lord, etc… But Father and I weren’t close. My relationship with my earthly father hindered my ability to view God as a father. However, as I have grown and matured in the Lord, He has done a work in my life and healed me of a lot of wounds, hurt and pain. The lack of a father was just one of many. He did a work deep down in my heart.
This is my second Problem with the opening statement. Because I was hurt by my father, I am now going to view God as my mother. The first issue was God’s sovereignty. However this second one is our healing. Christ died on the cross not simply to save us from Hell, but to heal us. Spirit, Soul, and Body. God wants to heal your heart. But instead of leaning into God for that Healing, this kind of mindset says rather than letting God change me and heal me, I am going to change God so I do not have to change.
This is a big problem, first we are avoiding dealing with our true problem which is our emotional wounding, and second we are trying to change the unchanging. God has said He never changes. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 If we think we can change God to suit ourselves, we are deceiving ourself. God is unchanging, He is a loving father and He wants to heal the wounds in your heart, no matter how big, or how painful.
I know this has been a long and possibly difficult post to read. I know that if you are struggling with The issue of God as father that you are probably not happy right now. I am sorry. I do not know the pain you feel, nor do I intend to make light of it. However I want to offer you HOPE. Real hope. The Hope that is found in Jesus Christ.
Christ knows you intimately. He was there when you were formed and fashioned inside your mother’s womb Jeremiah 1:5. He knows every detail of your life, and He saw every hurt you every experienced Psalm 34:18. He loves you and wants to heal you from those wounds Psalm 147:3. His death on the cross was more than a get out of hell free card. It was a medicine. It was a prescription for healing. He shed His own blood so that you would be able to run to Him. He is waiting right now and If you cry out to Him, He is waiting to heal you. I cannot promise you it will be easy, and I cannot promise you it will be instant. What I can promise you is that In Christ, it will get better. He will change your heart, He will restore your soul.
Jesus Christ is the Living Hope. 1st Peter 1:3 I pray that you read this and let it sink into your heart. If you need prayer, let me know. I am not simply sharing a message of facts, but a message I have walked through. I have experienced the Healing of God, and I know others who have as well. We want to pray for you, stand with you, and see you through to your breakthrough. I lvoe you and I am already praying for you as you read this.