(Image courtesy of carrieanddanielle.com)
One of the greatest gifts my father gave to me was this relationship that helps me to understand who God is. The “God as Father” metaphor is a strong one, a biblical one from the mouth of Jesus Christ (Mark 14:36), and one that remains a point of contention for many people. For some, the negative and even painful relationship they had with their father makes them reject this metaphor. Others have no father in their lives with which to make this metaphor have any meaning much less a positive one. There have been complaints that “God as Father” means that God is masculine and puts all women in a submissive role. This becomes quickly overly analyzed for me and requires us to thrust our own societal issues back upon God.
When Jesus was preparing for his death, praying in the garden, he called out “Abba” the Aramaic equivalent of “Daddy,” a sign of the intimacy of the relationship he had with God. It was informal, incredibly personal, and revealed an emotional closeness to the other person of the Trinity. In that person, the Father, God seeks to care for us like a parent. We might argue that mothers and fathers are interchangeable, but my experience would not allow me to make that statement. I love my parents equally, but they are not the same, nor are the roles which they came to occupy. Fathers are often the providers of protection, and the ones we look to when we are scared. That is why it makes sense for Jesus to call God “Father” when he was afraid, knowing full well what he was about to under go. He knew the pain, the suffering, the death that awaited him just hours from then, and in this vulnerable state permeating with fear, the Son calls to his Father. I refuse to let the modern degeneration of the family system, political correctness, or post modern inclusion, deprive me of this metaphor, this foundational theology that allows me to glimpse one more precious facet of my God. So today, the day after Father’s Day, I can stand up and say, with all sincerity, that I am not only happy to be Daddy’s girl, I am grateful that I can be.
In the name of the Father…