Every person that calls themselves a believer, a Christ follower, gets to call God, “father.” The bible tells us in Galatians 3:26 “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.” We all have the understanding of God from a child’s perspective. But there is another side of God that we can only know once we become a father ourselves.
Becoming a father can teach us a lot about God and who we are to Him and how He loves us, if we let it.
Here are 7 Things I’ve Learned About The Father Heart Of God From Being a Father.
God doesn’t just love us as His children out of obligation. He loves us because we are His children. We are His! He also likes us. He wants to be around us and He desires that we would spend time with Him. This is exactly how I feel about my kids. I genuinely like them, I think my son is so funny. He makes me laugh with almost everything he does. I want to spend time with him and talk to him. I love seeing him try and be like me. It blows my mind to know that my wife and I helped create another human being who not only has parts of us, but is also his own person.
2. God’s Discipline Is Necessary And Good
This world is quickly loosing sight of what it means to love our children. Many parents now believe it’s a bad thing to discipline their kids and that “NO” is a bad word. I have learned that discipline is a vital necessity in the wellbeing and health of my children and saying “NO” for appropriate reasons, is good. Discipline sucks and yet it produces so much good fruit. God disciplines me and now I am appreciating it for what it is, evidence that I am His and that He desires me to grow up and be a mature and wise man.
And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate…” – Hebrews 12:5-8
3. God’s Best For Me Is Not Always My Best For Me.
This is so true on so many levels. There are many things that my son would love to do or not do, but those things may not be what is best for him. I am commanded to raise my child in the way he should go, not let him go whichever way he wants. This is hard much of the time because I want him to enjoy life and not feel pain, but I have to be the parent. I have to be their wisdom while they have none. I have to be their caution while they have none. That is how God is with us. He is our guide. He is our strong tower. He is our protector. But if any of these things ever get in the way of what we want, we throw a tantrum just like a child.
4. God Is Patient With Me
Patience is probably the #1 attribute every parent needs. It takes time for my children to learn pretty much everything I try and teach them and they often forget what they just learned. God is teaching me to have His kind of patience. The kind of patience that He has with me. When my son drops his bowl of macaroni and cheese all over the carpet, my first response is, “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!” which if you think about it, is a pretty ridiculous question to ask. He’s a child. He’s learning still. His fine motor skills and spacial awareness are still being refined. God can be patient with us because He understands us so well and knows exactly where we are at in our knowledge and ability. One of the great blessings God gives to us is His waiting for us to grow up and to teaches us in patience along the way.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9
5. God’s Love Is Infinite
When a friend of ours was about to have her second baby she told us how she has some fears about not being able to love this new baby the same way she loves her first. She told us that she felt so much love for her son that she couldn’t imagine having any left for this new baby. She was afraid that she would have to divide her love between the two. She said it was like her love was a pie that she would have to cut up and give slices of it to each of her children. But then she said something that blew my mind. She said that God revealed to her that having children is not like having one pie that is divided up but like receiving a whole new pie. She said God would give her more love for her new baby. God’s love is infinite. He doesn’t run out of it and He doesn’t have to split it up between His children.
6. God Hates It When We Get Hurt But Uses It To Teach Us
Children are clumsy, at least my kids are. They get hurt, and they do it often. Sometimes they get hurt by doing something I asked them not to. Sometimes they get hurt by accident and sometimes someone else hurts them. I don’t like it when my kids ever get hurt regardless of how or why it happened. But when my son or daughter get hurt I get an opportunity to comfort them and then teach them how to approach that pain. If it is from disobedience I explain that they need to learn to heed and trust my words. If it is an accident I get to tell them that in this world there will be pain and suffering but we can get back up and not be afraid. When someone else causes the pain then I get to tell my son and my daughter that we are called to forgive and be patient with others. This is how God uses our pain and hurts as well.
7. God Loves It When We Have Fun And Enjoy His Creation
God truly loves to see His children enjoy His good gifts. When I give my son a toy that he has been asking for so long, (this one to be exact), I actually get pleasure out of his enjoyment. And when he isn’t appreciative of my gift or treat that gift with contempt it actually hurts me. God loves to bless his children. This is not a prosperity gospel this is just the truth of a father toward his kids.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” – Matthew
“Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.” – Ecclesiastes 5:19
God is using my fatherhood to draw me closer to Himself. Daily, He teaches me more about Himself. Being a father has revealed to me, areas of my character that are in desperate need for transformation but it has also shown me how much I am loved by my Father in heaven. Learning the father heart of God is an adventure that I pray every man can experience.
YOUR TURN: What has God taught you about Himself through fatherhood? Share in the comments below.