See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I hugged my pink stuffed poodle to my chest. We were about to have a serious conversation, even though I would be the only one talking. My ten-year-old self looked into his black button eyes and confided the empty ache that I dare not admit to anyone. I didn’t say the words out loud. I didn’t need to. We were close like that.
I wish I had a daddy who loved me, I began. I wish I had a daddy who would kiss me on the cheek when he came home from work, tickle my sides after catching me in a game of chase, and carry me piggyback in the park. I wish I had a daddy who liked me. Hugged me. Said nice things about me.
I wish my daddy didn’t ignore me and act like I wasn’t in the room. I wish I wasn’t afraid of him. I wish I had a daddy who loved me. Poodle understood.
I remember sitting at my friend’s house watching her daddy stroke her long red hair as she sat in his lap and leaned her head on his chest. For the two of them, it was nothing special. To me it was magical. I tried not to stare. Mr. Jack loved his daughters and I wished I were one of them.
The scars of being an unwanted child, an abused child, or even an ignored child run deep. They cut against the very grain of what God intended the relationship between a parent and child was created to be. But even the deep trenches left on a little girl heart, trenches cut like careless tires through soggy earth, can be filled in with God’s love and healed by His grace.
No parent is perfect. None can be available all the time—physically or emotionally. From time to time parents are too controlling, too protective, or too permissive. They lose their temper, patience, and control. They fly off the handle and fly by the seat of their pants. All parents have feet of clay—including me!
Maybe that’s your story, hopefully not. But here’s something that is your story, and mine. We all have a daddy who loves us. That is God the Father.
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, He said, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you… your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, (Matthew 6:6,8-9)
Of all the names Jesus used for God, He used Father more than any other…and He invites us to do the same.
John wrote: See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1 NIV). Think about that. The God of the universe who created the heavens and the earth; who always has been and always will be; who is all knowing, all powerful, and present everywhere at once—that same God invites you to call Him Abba (meaning Daddy).
One day my friend, Gayle, had her granddaughter, Carlie, and her little friend in the back seat of her car while she ran errands. Carlie knew her daddy; her friend had never known hers.
While riding in the car, Carlie’s little friend said, “I wish I had a daddy like you have a daddy.”
Carlie replied, “Oh, you do have a daddy.”
“No, I don’t. I want a daddy like you have a daddy. I wish I had a daddy.”
“But you do have a daddy,” Carlie insisted. “We all have a daddy. God is our daddy. He’s everybody’s daddy.”
Gayle looked in her rear view mirror and saw Carlie’s friend hold up her hands in exasperation. “Why has nobody ever told me this?!”
No matter what kind of father you had as a child, here’s one thing I want you to remember: you have a Heavenly Father who loves and adores you. You are the apple of your Daddy’s eye (Psalm 17:8).
Heavenly Father, oh how I love You. Thank You for adopting me into Your family and making me your child. Thank You for being my heavenly parent who loves me unconditionally, cares for me unendingly, and provides for all my needs. I am so blessed to be Your child.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Make a list of what you would consider the perfect father. Now put a check by the characteristics found in your Heavenly Father.
Heavenly Father, oh how I love You. Thank You for adopting me into Your family and making me Your child. Thank You for being my heavenly Father who loves me unconditionally, care for me unendingly, and provides for all my needs. I am so blessed to be Your child. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
More from the Girlfriends
Father is just one of the many names for God in the Bible. To learn more about the His many names and what they mean for you, grab a copy of Knowing God by Name written by Sharon, Gwen, and Mary. Better yet, grab a book and a handful of girlfriends and go through the book together!
© 2021 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.