Are you among those who can’t see the “Happy” in Father’s Day?
“Maybe it’s not so ‘happy’ for you. Perhaps you’re one of those people who will play the charade of giving a gift, sending a card or making a phone call out of obligation or guilt. Maybe you carry deep wounds from your relationship (or lack thereof) with your father. Perhaps you’ve suffered from the disapproval, rejection, absence or abandonment of your father. Maybe you will try to drum up some positive demeanor toward your dad on Father’s Day even though you really feel nothing at all” (From: “Finding Healing on Father’s Day“ Jim Palmer).
Many today live with a fatherhood deficit or a damaged view of fatherhood. And, yes, this can have a troubling effect on life. But what we learn in Scripture is that spiritual transformation specifically focuses on restoring one’s need for fatherhood in deeply meaningful and intimate ways.
The inner work of the Spirit ministering to our spirit centers on our need for fatherhood. Ponder the powerful implications of these words: “the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” and “God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Romans 8:15-16; Galatians 4:6).
Greek-speaking Gentile churches in Galatia and Rome continued to address God as “Abba.” But they only used this title for God because Jesus had used it and taught his followers to do so. Little children and others used “Abba” when they addressed their earthly fathers but only Jesus used this term of intimacy to address God. There is no evidence in Jewish literature that Jews addressed God with this term.
The teaching of the Fatherhood of God was unexpectedly elevated by Jesus. Although “Father” was only used 15 times for God in the OT, it was Jesus’ primary term for addressing God and for teaching his followers about their relationship with God. He used it some 65 times in the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) and over 100 times in the gospel of John.
Rather than allowing ourselves to be consumed with the failures or absence of human fathers, let us turn to the affirming work of the Spirit of God as He ministers to our spirits to bear continual witness (present tense) to our identity as God’s children.
From the spiritual cradle to the physical grave, let the Spirit restore the comforting truth of Fatherhood as “by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’” to our Creator and Redeemer.
- “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close” (Psalm 27:10).
- “O Lord you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are the work of your hands.” (Isaiah 64:8)
- “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (I John 3:1).