I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. — 2 Corinthians 6:18

I love my dad. My dad loves me. That’s important. For one thing, it makes it a lot easier to believe that our heavenly Dad loves me too. Psychologists and counselors tend to agree that our view of our earthly father really shapes our concept of our Father in heaven—both good and bad.

On the down side, my dad was gone a lot when we were kids. Mom was always there to fill in the gaps, but Dad’s ministry often left an empty chair at the dinner table and an empty seat in the bleachers. During those formative years of faith, it wouldn’t have been difficult for me to view God the Father in the same way.

  • What good attributes of your earthly father coincide with the truth about our heavenly Father? (Forgiving, generous, stable, intimate, understanding, etc.)
  • What negative attributes of your early father have infiltrated your thoughts about our heavenly Father? (Distant, critical, abusive, condemning, unsatisfied, absent, etc.)

The truth is that our Abba Father is our perfect Daddy, the One who is all, knows all, and works all things for our good—even when our earthly fathers drop the ball… or worse.

Our Father, we need You, desperately, to show us where our fathers have influenced our perceptions of You. We need You, desperately, to empower us to forgive where we have been neglected and abused. We need You to replace lies with truth about who You are, so that we can be free to be all You have created us to be in Christ. Thank You, Daddy, for doing this. Amen.

Taken from Pete’s 365-day devotional book Experiencing LIFE Today.