It’s rare, but wonderful, for a woman to be able to say “I grew up with a loving father.”
If you grew up with a great dad, God blessed you with a glimpse of what life with your heavenly Father can be like. But if you’re like many women – and had a distant, hurtful, or even non-existent relationship with your father – God wants to more than make up for that now, by being the Father you’ve always wanted and needed.
Scripture tells us we have a God who loved us so much that He adopted us and made it possible for us to call Him the most intimate of names – Daddy. First John 3:1 says, “See how great a love the Father has given us, that we would be called children of God; and in fact we are” (NASB). And Romans 8:15 tells us “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father” (NLT). A better English translation of “Abba Father” from the original Greek in that passage would be “Papa” or “Daddy” – often the first word a child utters when he or she learns to speak. It’s a “cuddling-up-with-Daddy” intimate term that Jesus, Himself, used when He prayed to His Papa. Jesus taught, through a saving relationship with Him, we could know God intimately as our Daddy, too.
What a privilege that is. And if you don’t yet know that kind of closeness with God, let me encourage you with just six things I love about being God’s daughter. These are also things you can experience with Him, too.
- We are always accepted by our Father God.
When I was writing my book, When a Woman Overcomes Life’s Hurts, I discovered one of the deepest wounds women carried into their adulthood was either the lack of a father’s presence in their lives, or not feeling loved and accepted by him. Yet, God makes it clear in His Word that we can come to Him as we are and He will love and accept us unconditionally.
Romans 5:8 tells us: “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (ESV). That means if there was nothing we could do to earn God’s love, there’s nothing we can do to lose it. It also means we never have to perform or try to measure up to our Heavenly Father’s standards because Jesus already did! We are enough because God sees us through what Jesus accomplished on the cross on our behalf. You and I have a God who doesn’t love and accept us based upon our behavior or our accomplishments, or what we make of ourselves. His acceptance of us is based on our faith in His perfect Son (Ephesians 2:8-9, Hebrews 11:6). That is unconditional love and acceptance by our Father. And that will never change.
2. We can come to Him confidently.
Because of God’s unconditional love and acceptance, you and I can also approach Him boldly, unlike a child who might be fearful of her father’s response. As a child of an alcoholic, I grew up in fear of my father’s reaction if I were to make a dent in a wall or a scratch on our car, or break something of value. I learned how to tiptoe around him and to do everything I could to be as “good” as I could in order to keep the peace.
My father is now nearly 40 years sober and is a new man through the transforming power of God’s Holy Spirit. We are very close today and I know I can call him, under any circumstance, and receive his love, acceptance, and support. Yet, God’s love, comfort, presence, and help is far more accessible to us than any earthly father’s. Hebrews 4:16 tells us that because we have a High Priest (Jesus) who can sympathize with us, we can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (NKJV). When we are in relationship with Jesus, we can confidently approach our Daddy God at any time of the day and night. And that makes a daughter feel special.
3. We always have His listening ear.
What makes a woman feel more loved than when someone listens to her intently and truly cares? You and I have the assurance from God’s Word that He hears our cries (and even saves our tears in a bottle – Psalm 56:8), and that we will receive whatever we ask of Him in faith (Matthew 21:22).
First John 5:14-15 elaborates on the loving, listening ear of God toward His beloved daughters: “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (ESV). That’s quite a promise when it’s coming from a Father who owns it all (Psalm 50:10) and can do it all!
4. We have the assurance that He is GOOD.
We all need a Daddy we can look up to and respect. It’s important to us to have a father who is a man of integrity, compassion, and goodness. Although the Bible says all (including all earthly fathers) have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), the character of our Heavenly Father is never in question. Psalm 18:30 says all His ways are perfect. He is good to the core. Even when you and I don’t understand why He allows certain things, we can still be at peace knowing He causes all things – even the bad things – to work for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). And He does that by making you and me more like His perfect Son, Jesus, in the process (verse 29). That means He not only provides for our temporary good, but for our eternal best.
I love the comparison Jesus made in Matthew 7:11 when he said, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (NIV). I love being the daughter of a good Father who promises “no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” (Psalm 84:11).
5. We know He will never walk out on us.
Many women grew up with a father – or fathers – who left, emotionally or physically. But that will never happen when it comes to our Heavenly Father. God promised, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). And in Psalm 139:7-12 we are assured there is no place we can go where His loving presence will not follow. Even if everyone you’ve ever loved or depended upon has walked out on you, your Heavenly Father never will. He’s a Daddy who will go the distance with His daughters.
6. We can tell Him anything.
Do you ever want to pour out your heart to someone but you’re not sure how it will be received? Will you say it right? Will it be misunderstood? Will you be rejected for it? You never have to worry about that with your Heavenly Father. Psalm 62:8 tells us, “Trust in Him at all times… Pour out your hearts before Him; God is a refuge for us” (NASB).
How wonderful that you and I can vent with our Heavenly Father and He can handle it. We don’t have to worry that He will judge, condemn, reject or misunderstand anything. Since Romans 8:1 tells us there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, we know that anything we say is safe with Him.
If you ever start to feel badly about the family you were born into, or the dysfunction in which you were raised, you have a new lineage in Christ Jesus and that makes you a daughter of the best Daddy there is.
For more on growing in an intimate relationship with God to where you can call Him “Daddy,” see Cindi’s books, Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs, God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart, and When God Sees Your Tears.