Thursday, March 15, 2012

What it Means to be a Daughter

{What my earthly father taught me about our Heavenly Father}

One of my favorite ways to think of the LORD is thinking of Him as my Heavenly Father. My Abba Father, my daddy.

A God that is safe, comforting, loving. A God who wants to protect His children and delights in me as His daughter. A dad who teaches me, guides me, and loves me.

I had an earthly father who was very much like this.

He was a defender/protector.
When we were little, when we started school, my dad had a plan. He told us that sometimes strangers come to schools to try and take children. He said they'll tell us "your mom and dad asked me to pick you up today". He said if anyone ever tried to pick us up from school that we didn't recognize, we were to ask them our family's code word (which was strawberry). If they didn't know it, to run away screaming and tell a teacher!

He was a teacher.
I can remember driving on trips out of town and my father pointing out the window to a field of crops, teaching us what was growing. Or coaching us in softball and giving us pitching tips. Or as we grew older, teaching us what boys were really after and making sure we knew just how valued we were as his daughters.

He was a comforter.
I can remember in 6th grade one of our close family friends died. I was crying on my bed and my father came in, hugged me, and said he was sad too. And we sat and cried together.

He disciplined me.
Oh goodness this was hard for him though! He told me once as he was spanking me (this is harder for me than it is for you, which in my head I thought what the heck, than why are you doing it??!) He didn't like disciplining us but he did because he wanted to teach us right from wrong.

He loved me.
I can remember many times my dad telling us how much we were loved. He would stroke our hair as we slept (even until I was a teenager). Every Valentine's day he would bring all of us girls flowers!

He delighted in me.
I can remember laughing with my dad a lot! He loved to tell his friends stories about funny things we said or did. He loved to talk with me about school, politics, whatever! We had so much fun together. He truly was my favorite person to be around.

And so it is with our Heavenly Father. Our Father in Heaven protects us, defends us, teaches us, disciplines us, loves us, and delights in us as His daughters. His commands are to protect us from harm (physically, emotionally, spiritually). His discipline is to keep us on the right path, His path. His love is lavished on us.

When I think of God this way, I can't help but want to spend time with Him! I love to learn about Him through studying His word, worship Him through song, talk to Him through prayer. And not just request after request to change my circumstance, but just talk to Him.

Thank Him for who He is and for calling me from darkness to light (Colossians 1:13-14), for adopting me as His daughter (Ephesians 1:5), and delighting in me (Psalm 18:16-19).

Our Abba Father, our daddy . . . brings me so much comfort and joy!

*I know for some of you, the word father or dad brings up very different feelings. I'm praying for you, that the LORD would redeem those words and create a new meaning, His meaning, for fatherhood. It breaks my heart to think of your scars. But I'm thankful we can know the One who heals.

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