King of Kings we can handle. God eternal we can understand. Creator of Life is comprehensible. Deliverer, Redeemer, and Mighty God all come to mind when we think of Him. But Father? Why do we call Him that? It is almost confusing. We call our earthly dad’s “father.” We aren’t supposed to, but we do. Why do we give a great and powerful God who can create us and destroy us in a single breath “Father?” It almost doesn’t seem proper to think of such an almighty being in the terms of an earthly father.
I was talking to a friend of mine recently that I have only known for a short time, but who has been a great inspiration to me. He said at one point during the conversation, “I sometimes think that God wonders why He ever even created man. I don’t know how He puts up with us.” Sad words. Words we all have uttered at some point in life. So I said to him, “Because He loves us. It would be like you wondering why you ever had children.”
That’s how God sees us. We are His children. If anyone has ever wondered how God puts up with us, it is for the simple reason that He loves us and we are His. God loves us in a higher, more glorified form of the way our earthly fathers do. He loves us as a parent loves a child. But it isn’t that simple is it? Oh, I wish that it could be. God, how I wish it could be so simple. The truth is that many times in life our earthly parents fail to live up to God’s example of parenthood. If you have ever been treated unfairly by your parents, this message is for you. If you have ever been punished unreasonably, I wrote this for you. If you have ever gone to bed in tears because your parents didn’t trust you, you are not alone. Those same tears are shed by Christ, for you. If you have ever had a problem where your parents were not reflecting the heart of God, this message was written with you in mind.
The truth is our parents do not always handle things in the manner that God would. It’s a sad truth. After all, God did entrust your mom and dad with the job of raising you and bringing you up in a godly fashion. You are God’s gift to your parents, whether they act like it or not. They will let you down, time and time again they will fail you. Such is the nature of people. We are all flawed. Nobody can be the perfect parent… Except One.
The Scripture tells us that God is the Father of the fatherless. So, if your parents are losing their edge, or if there is some sort of communication problem and neither of you can get a word in edge wise, you can always go to God. He has all of the characteristics our earthly parents are supposed to have, and some that are only possible for God. What follows is a list of fatherly qualities that God has. After reading it, it will be no wonder that we call Him “Father.”
Have you ever been in an argument with your parents and nothing you can even attempt to say matters. It’s almost as if they have made up their minds long before they ever started talking to you. In many cases, they have and are just letting off steam. You don’t have to deal with that when you come to God, because He will always listen, no matter what you have to say. Even if you are dead wrong, God will listen and He will not interrupt.
Job had a lot of problems and he had a lot of questions for God. He was wrong in asking a lot of them, but God let Job say every word, ask every question, and utter every complaint before He spoke up. Job may have been wrong, but God heard him out and really listened to Job’s argument. After Job had said all that needed to be said, God spoke. The same holds true for you. God will not interrupt you. When you come to God your words will not fall on deaf ears.
Teenagers have a real problem with their parents understanding them. Most of the time we have trouble understanding ourselves. So many changes… So many dreams… So much ambition… We could never expect our parents to understand us. They rarely do… That’s what makes God different. God can do what your parents only wish they could do. He can actually crawl inside your head.
He can read your mind. Psalm 139 tells us that before a word is ever on our tongue, God knows it completely. God knows what you are thinking and He understands why you do what you do. When you come to God, he will understand you completely. He will also lead you to a greater understanding of yourself.
God gives you the freedom to make mistakes.
Parents are very protective of their children, and they are terrified that their children may make the same mistakes they did. This is the characteristic of an over-protective parent. They fear you will fail, so they tighten their grip to keep you from it. This may sound good. And it works for younger children, but teens need more freedom. Everybody makes mistakes. We also learn from our mistakes as well. God knows this. That is why He gave us free will. That is why He allows us to fail. If a parent shields their child from error, how can they learn any of life’s most valuable lessons?
God, on the other hand, has a long history of giving His children the freedom to fail. Why does He do this? Wouldn’t it be easier to shield them? Yes… But it wouldn’t be love. Love lets you choose and is still there for you when you choose wrong. We are God’s children and He will do what it takes to bring us closer to Him.
Where would David be if God had kept him away from the ladies? He would never have learned that giving into temptation breaks the spirit. The whole experience brought Him nearer to God. The evidence is in the Psalms. That’s all that matters to God, that we are drawn closer to Him.
Where would Jonah be if He hadn’t run away from His problems, or Moses had he not doubted, or Peter had he not denied. Paul told us that problems bring us perseverance and help us to endure hardship. The same is true of mistakes. Love allows God to give us the freedom to make mistakes.
God will not yell at us.
When parents and teens get into an argument there is usually yelling or screaming at some point. Parents do not like to be contradicted whether they are right or wrong. But when you come to God with a problem or a question, even if you are frustrated at God Himself, He will not scream at you. He listens, and He understands.
Parents may slap you. Parents ground you. Parents take away privileges. These are things that can be done in the flesh. God corrects. Punishments do not always solve a problem. Harsh rules do not make a situation better. Only God’s correction can do that. God can work with you and change your heart. He can put a fire in your soul that will change your behavior. And He has been known to put His children through hard times to correct their flaws. This is where parents fall short. Only God can give the type of correction that always sticks and is always beneficial.
God is patient.
Your parents get fed up easily. “I’ve had it up to here…” Is their cry when you have tried their patience. But God is forever patient, and forever forgiving. He will never give up on you and He will never have enough of you. He told us He would be with us always, even until the end of the age. He doesn’t lie, so He must have meant it.
God is not selfish.
Your parents may be good. They may be really good. But they are still human, and because they are human, selfishness will enter into the equation from time to time. Occasionally they will do what they feel is good for them, or what makes them feel good without regard for what is best for you. God isn’t like that. His concern is your need. As it turns out, your Heavenly Father is the most unselfish father the world has known. With your need in mind, He sacrificed His life for you.
Why do they call Him “Father”? Isn’t it obvious. You are His child, whom He loves. And when your parents are being unreasonable, He will be your answer.