As I anticipated writing this particular post I struggled as I felt a heavy pull to write this post differently than any I’ve written before. I think that may be part of the point, though, as we dive into how God is our Heavenly Father – He is our Dad. Dads are designed to be the leader and head of the family. They are meant to protect, provide and guide their children. We are called to be obedient to our parents, and that does in fact include our Father in Heaven above all else. So as I contemplated this post I realized that my own defiance and procrastination felt very similar to me defying my parents. I don’t always want to do what my Dad tells me to do but in the end I realize that He is the only one who knows what is actually best for me. He is exactly the kind of Dad I need.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1
I have had an incredibly difficult relationship with my parents. I love them, I want to have a strong relationship with them, but this is not the case for me. My parents see me very differently than my Dad sees me. When they put me down I hear my Dad say “Be still, you are beautiful to me”. When I feel used, hurt, forgotten and unwanted I feel His love, I feel Him pulling me closer like a child wrapped up in the arms of a Father who loves her. When I feel alone, longing for a relationship with my family, He reminds me of the amazing, loving, beautiful family He has surrounded me with and His own place as the Head of that family. God is in every way the best Dad a child could ever hope for, could ever need, could ever desire.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1
We have an opportunity to build an extremely fulfilling relationship with a Father who loves us and wants nothing but the best for us; a Father who wants to spoil us with blessings, humble us with lessons and discipline (often one in the same), and be with us wherever we go to protect us, help us, save us, heal us, and cheer for us. No matter if your relationship with your earthly parents is the best you could ever hope for or the worst you could ever imagine – you have a Dad who is always there, seeking to strengthen His relationship with you every day.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” John 17:24
Growing up I was incredibly unhappy. One day I was telling my dad how miserable I was. I was so depressed and I didn’t know how to not feel the way I felt. What he said was a huge turning point for me, and is the only piece of advice I remember receiving from him that held weight, and somehow I knew that my dad was just the vessel for the words I needed to hear. He said:
“If you want to be happy, be happy. That is a choice. You can choose to stay miserable and unhappy, or you can choose to be happy.”
I mean, obviously it isn’t that easy, right? But it hit me to my core. That shook me. Why was I so miserable in the first place? Because I was seeking the attention and approval of other human beings. Because I was looking for my worth in the opinions of people. SPOILER ALERT: humans are NOT perfect and that is why it is such a precious gift to have a relationship with a Perfect Father.
God’s approval is the only approval worth seeking.
It took me years to figure out this whole Father-Daughter relationship thing, and yes I still struggle, but I know that I can run to my Dad who does love me, who does see me as valuable and beautiful, who does want the best for me, who will help me, protect me, love me, and provide for me no matter what. Even in discipline I find comfort because I know it is for my good. I know, in my relationship with my Dad that grows stronger all the time, that He is correcting me to help me avoid mistakes and hurt. When it does hurt it is so that I can learn and grow. This is how a relationship with our Heavenly Father should feel.
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:11-12
If you are struggling to find a relationship with your Dad, let me tell you that He is waiting for you to just openly seek Him out. If you want to feel the comfort only He can provide, just ask!
I want to seek you honestly. I give myself up to you in obedience as your child. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for wanting a relationship with a broken person like me. I ask you to please help me, be my Father, help me learn to be Your child. I am Yours and You are mine and I need help. I open myself up to you and I give you control.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26