Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17, NIV).
So much of our understanding of God’s love is shaped by what we’ve experienced in life. Which of the following types of earthly fathers has had a negative impact on your ability to accept God as your heavenly Father?
Abusive father: You never know what you are going to get with this kind of father. His love is determined by his moods. You avoid him as much as possible.
But your true Father is, “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in
love” (Psalm 145:8).
Neglectful father: This dad is far too busy (or just too selfish) to be concerned with you. He has more important business to attend to than your insignificant needs. You have to take care of yourself.
But your true Father says, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or
store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not
much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26).
Biased father: You know this father loves you — or at least you think he does. But he seems to shower affection and gifts on all the other kids. Bottom line: he has favorites, and you’re not one of them.
But your true Father “does not show favoritism” (Romans 2:11).
Demanding father: Perfect in nearly every way, this father demands that you be perfect as well. No matter how hard you try it’s never enough. While there are moments when he seems proud of you, they are few and far between.
But your true Father “has compassion on his children . . . for he knows how we
are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:13-14).
Read and reflect: What kind of father image do you struggle with? Consider the corresponding verses describing your true Father. Allow the truth you find there to sink deep into your soul.
Taken from At the Feet of Jesus, by Joanna Weaver, (Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 2012), p 171.