Father’s Day can be complicated for a lot of people. Some have dads they adore and cherish the holiday, while others are steeped in grief because the father they loved so much has passed away. Still others have never known their dad or had a difficult or even abusive relationship with a father or father figure. Many struggle with the concept of “Father God,” for the word “father” was painful—at best.
But God is far superior to any human Father—and He is the only true Father any of us have. Our human fathers have a job to perform: serve the Lord in their family, care for and protect each family member whatever that looks like.
As the apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 8:6, “Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live” (NIV).
God is “the” Father. Now, a word about gender. God created the universe and everything in it—including humans, who He created male and female. God is beyond time, beyond comprehension, beyond gender, beyond age.
Yet the Bible, and Jesus specifically, repeatedly refers to God as “father”—not to ascribe a gender to God but to help us understand that God loves us like a good father should. The notion of “father” can be a very positive one for people raised in loving homes with father as overseer and ruler, who protected his “flock” from harm and did his best to provide. Even if we didn’t experience that kind of home ourselves, picturing God as the head of the family unit, a loving guardian and fierce controller-protector, can bring comfort, peace, and hope. It’s a strong analogy.
Scripture also contains many references to what makes a good father—and how God loves us even more than that.
Wherever you are this Father’s Day, take a moment to reflect on what makes a good father according to God’s word … and how God as the Ultimate Father loves us far more than we can imagine.
Here are a few verses to remind you of that deep, vast love—available for every one of us, no matter what we’ve done or will do, as long as we choose to follow Him and accept His son, Jesus, as our lord and savior.
- “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13 NIV). As the psalm continues, He knows how we were formed, remembers we are dust, and loves us anyway.
- “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling” (Psalm 68:5). God is our eternal father, taking care of every one of His children.
- “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…’” (Matthew 6:9). We should treat God with all respect, honoring Him as ruler and overseer of our lives and our souls, looking out for us as a good father should do.
- “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Ephesians 1:3-10).
- “Isn’t Ephraim my much-loved child? Don’t I utterly adore him? Even when I scold him, I still hold him dear. I yearn for him and love him deeply, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 31:20 CEB).
Whatever relationship we have with our earthy father, let’s remember that God sets the standard. He loves us now and forever—and He will never forsake us.