From the moment we’re born, we spend our first years of life depending on our parents for everything, including every physical and emotional need. By the time we’re old enough to appreciate that our parents are human, and therefore, likely to make mistakes, we have put them up on a pedestal. We forget that we didn’t come with how-to manuals, and mistakes are an inevitable part of life. Whether you had amazing parents who showered you with love and support; or emotionally, sometimes physically absent ones; no one is perfect and therefore, every human parent is flawed. However, there is good news. For those who have accepted Christ as their Savior, we have a Heavenly Father who loves us beyond measure and who will never, ever, let us down. Let’s consider some ways in which God the Father is the perfect parent.
God the Father, Our Creator
Starting at the beginning, we must acknowledge that God created us. Moreover, He created us specifically in His own image. Genesis 1:26a states, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’” At this point in creation, God had already made the earth, sky, water, and all the animals, birds, fish, and plants. He not only created us in His image, but He gave mankind a superior role over everything else He created.
God the Father, Who Knows Us
There are many instances in the Bible that refer to us as God’s creation, whom He knows perfectly, even better than we know ourselves. The first is in Psalm 139:13-14, when we’re reminded that God knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. He created us from the inside out, and knows every detail! Another example of His intimate knowledge of us is found in Romans 9:21, with the beautiful illustration that compares our relationship to that of the Potter and the clay. God, as the Potter, made us unique.
“Unique in every way”—that includes every detail, even ones we don’t know about ourselves! Jesus says in Luke 12:7 that God knows us so well, He even knows the number of hairs we have on our head! I’m sure I don’t know that number, and it’s highly unlikely you do, either!
Finally, when we read Romans 8:27–37, we learn several important points about how well God the Father knows us…. He knows our hearts and minds. There’s nothing we can think or feel that escapes His notice. And, my favorite part of this passage—He not only created us, but He knew us and had a plan for us before we were born!
God the Father, Who Disciplines Us
Children don’t like to be punished, but it’s a part of parenting, albeit a hard one. It’s a parent’s obligation to discipline their children, correct them, and help guide them. To that end, God does not shirk His responsibilities to us as His children. Proverbs 3:12 says, “For whom the Lord loves, He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.” This is reiterated in Hebrews 12:6, which says, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
When punishment is served in love, it may be painful, but it’s purposeful. God our Father uses it as a tool to keep our focus on Him, and to try to prevent us from painful consequences.
God allows everything to happen, though, including consequences of our actions. It doesn’t mean He doesn’t care; it reiterates that some life lessons are hard.
God the Father, Who Loves Us
The previous verses already establish that God the Father punishes us because He loves us, but He loves us so much, that He lavishes His love upon us. This verb, “to lavish” is an important term. It means “to bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities.”
Ephesians 1:7-8 states, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight,” and in 1 John 3:1a we are encouraged to“ See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”
God has poured out His love on His children in immeasurable quantities, the greatest of which was the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus, as a willing sacrifice, paid our sin debt, and to that end, God himself demonstrated His great love by allowing Jesus to pay the price.
To that end, that doesn’t mean that God the Father will “spoil” His children to their own ways; He loves us enough at times to say, “No,” and at other times, He says, “Wait.” His timing is always perfect, and His plans far exceed our own. Jeremiah 29:11 is a favorite verse for this truth, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
When you’re in need of a parent—one who always keeps His promises… who loves unconditionally…who will never, ever, let you down, look no further than your Heavenly Father. Rest in the promises that are made throughout the Bible and trust in the dependability of your Heavenly Father.