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God as Father

March 4, 2013
S. Michael Craven
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In Scripture there are many different names used to describe God. While all the names of God are important for a variety of reasons, the name “Abba Father” is one of the most significant names in terms of understanding how he relates to his people. The Aramaic word Abba would most closely be translated as “Daddy.” It was a common term that young children would use to address their fathers. It signifies the close, intimate relationship of a father to his child, as well as the childlike trust a young child puts in his daddy.

Anyone who has been a Christian for almost any length of time understands God as “our Father.” Having received salvation at the age of twenty-one, I, too, understood the concept of God as Father but it wasn’t until last year—at the age of fifty-two—that I truly began to understand the fatherhood of God beyond the abstract.

You see, last year my son deployed to Afghanistan. As an infantry Marine, his job was to locate, close with, and kill the enemy. He and his comrades spent almost every day in direct ground combat.

As his father, I spent every waking moment burdened for his safety and well-being. The anxiety and stress was, at times, overwhelming. Every time the phone rang or there was a knock at the door, my heart would stop, wondering if this was the dreaded call telling me my precious son had been killed or wounded. My heart and mind were utterly occupied with concern for his welfare. When I was able to speak with him, sometimes following a particularly harrowing day of combat, all of my energy was dedicated to guiding him toward the only Truth in which he might find comfort and solace. Every word was carefully chosen and delivered—as he literally walked through the valley of the shadow of death—so that his character would be formed in truth and his peace would not be found in other things or even me but in our Lord.

It was through this experience I began to truly understand the Father’s love for me. I thought, “If I, who was human, were so fixated on the total welfare of my son, how much more is my Heavenly Father attentive to me?” No longer was the concept of God as Father an abstract idea but a real experience in which I now knew the intimate and intentional depth of the Father’s love.

Some of you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal? This should be obvious.” However, others of you, like me, never had the benefit of an earthly father who loved, nurtured, and counseled you as his precious child. As a result, God as Father may remain somewhat abstract in the absence of a godly model of earthly fatherhood.

God the Father is the perfect example for all earthly fathers. He is holy, just, and fair, but his most outstanding quality is love—“because God is love” (1 John 4:8, NIV). If you are an adopted child of God, rest fully in the assurance that your Father loves you with power, particularity, and intentionality far greater than anything in this world.

© 2013 by S. Michael Craven

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Response from : Melissa Blackson  

March 4, 2013 8:38 AM

This is so timely. Thanks for sharing this. I, too, learned about God, our Father early in my Christian walk over 20 years ago, but have only begun to truly experience this relationship in the last 2 years. I would hear others talk about it, but never understood how to connect to God in this way. It wasn't until I reached my lowest point, and became totally surrendered to, and dependent on, God through constant abiding in Him that I learned the freedom and rest that is only found in Abba, Father. Again, thank you.

Response from : Mark Harrington  

March 4, 2013 10:57 AM

This is a timeless message, one that we need over and over again. I often take your article to a guys group I go to on Tuesday morning, it is amazing how the thoughts the Lord gives you are just what someone needs. Thanks Michael.

Response from : Julius siwinda  

March 6, 2013 1:20 PM

What an inspirational message,nowonder Jesus taught in parables relating to every day life situation.Thanks Micheal,this gives me rest for my perfect Father is so caring all the time.
Iam richly blessed.

Response from : george  

March 6, 2013 8:11 PM

Thank you, as my son survives in Kandahar US Army. He received a Purple Heart 9/27/2011. Psalm 91 the Soldiers Prayer that on Fort Riley's area where we his da,mom ,aunts and cousin saw the staue of the American solsier Psalm 91 was there on the pedestal. I am 56 I too received his calls after his day of battle and patrol. I lost my dad 43 years ago. Yes ABBA Dear FATHER GOD. Thanks Book Experience the FATHER'S Embrace :) (:


Response from : Jane  

March 7, 2013 12:51 AM


Even up to this day I cant really know him as Father as I never had a father! This makes it a little clearer why. I have three little boys and as a mother I think am beginning to feel a little of that love. Thanks for making me understand.

Response from : mike scott  

March 7, 2013 4:00 PM

oh wow! my earthly dad was a violent alcoholic. he beat me one night over and over till i successfully said my "ABC's" and counted to 100. i never did get them right. he raped my 5 year old sister when i was 7. it was around that time that things came to a head. he came home drunk one night and my mom had locked the doors and would not let him in. as he was trying to come in a window i retrieved a .22 rifle from a closet and got off two rounds at the window before my mom got the gun away from me. it was shortly after that when we were placed in a children's home with 99 other hurt, angry, confused and frieghtened children. i have never known normal. my 10 years in "the home" were not much better. violence was still the it was older kids doing the hurt. the one thing that i want folks to hear is that for 10 years in "the home" (from 7 to 17) we went every sunday to one of the largest baptist churches in fort worth, texas. i can not tell you the name of one adult from that entire period from that body of christ that was, as i remember, from 5 to 8 thousand members. the word of god mentions orphans and fatherless many times and for reasons most people never take the time to try to understand. these kids don't need your money thrown at the institutions where they live. they need you. when jesus said " depart from me i never knew you" i believe he was speaking for all us that have been ignored, rejected, outcast, abandoned by the religious people. with a church on every corner i can not understand why there are even one child in a so called "children's home" i'm counted among the redeemed at the age of 64 now. my greatest difficulty in my christ life is in the intimacy area with god as father. his grace is good enough every day. when i can't feel his presence i remember his promise that he gave me when i was on my way to prison years ago. "fear not, for i am with you. be not dismayed, for i am you god. i will strengthen you. yes, i will help you. yes, i will hold you up and retain you with my victorious right hand of rightousness."

Response from : Betsy Cuvelier  

March 20, 2013 9:14 PM

I very much appreciated this article. I recently encounterd The Heidelberg Catechism. It was first written in the 1500's in an attempt to unify different Protestant factions on the high points of Christianity they had in common. I have found it extremely enlightening and helpful--the rank and file Christian of the 1500's was given more understanding of who God was than we are today. One person described it as the bridge between the Bible and life--I have found it to be so. Many phrases I have heard and never quite understood have additional information tacked on which makes the light come on. One of the things it expands on is the Apostle's Creed:

Q26. What do you believe when you say, "I beleive in God, the Father almighty, creator of heavan and earth"?
A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and everything in them, who still upholds and rules them by his eternal counsel and providence is my Gid and Father because of Christ the Son. I trust God so much that I do not doubt he will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and will turn to my good whatever adverstiy he sends upon me in this sad world. God is able to do this because he is almighty God and desires to do this because he is a faithful Father.

Q27 What do you understand by the providence of God?
A The almighty and ever present power of God by which God upholds, as with his hand, heaven and earth and all creatures and so rules them that...all things, in fact, come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand.

Q28. How does the knowledge of God's creation and providence help us?
A. We can be patient when things go against us, thankful when things go well, and for the future we can have good confidence in our faithful God and Father that nothing in creation will separate us from his love. For all creatures are so completely in God's hand that without his will they can neither move nor be moved.

I recently became acquainted withquestion 32 and will add that one because I have never been given such a definition:

Q. But why are you called a Christian?
A. Because by faith I am a member of Christ and so I share in his anointing. I am anointed to confess his name, to present myself to him as a living sacrifice of thanks, to strive with a free conscience against sin and the devils in this life, and afterwards to reign with Christ over all creation for eternity.

We keep hearing how the world plants a tape in our heads that continually says "I am not good enough." I have come to veiw this catechism as a "new tape" in which God says "Who I am." We need to renew this practice. Evertyhing is backed up with scriptural references. The quotes are from the 2011 transaltion offered by Faith Alive Christian Resources.

Response from : patsy sbano  

March 27, 2013 8:47 PM

Iagree our earthly fathers play a big role in the developement of there children's faith by the teaching the ways of GOD Our Earthly father's i feel should express through word deed action thought prayer church basically practice faith hope love Our eartly Father's must contineously choose GOD first and keep what matters in sight they are chosen to be our father's the family that prays together stays together i feel the father is the head of the household as GOD is the head of the church even the world for that matter life is hard for our earthly father's i am not foolish they hurt have medical issues loose there jobs have to pay bills have addictions vices stress anger they are sinners as we all are my point our earthly father's need to seek ye first the kingdom og GOD and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you and yours or else we as children may possible be the lost sheep without the GOOD SHEPERD searching for us


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