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Attributes of a good father? Is God a good father? These questions often feature in our minds for a variety of reasons at different times in our lives. Often, we project our view of our earthly dad onto God as a Father thinking that he will treat us in the same way. The impact on our belief system can be astronomical. We begin to look at God through distorted filters and lenses perceiving them as truth when all they are, are our experiences.
Fact and truth are not the same things. Facts change as we change our circumstances or see things differently. Truth is constant. God is both constant and true.
Jesus Christ is [eternally changeless, always] the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 (AMP)
Although I have always had a good relationship with my parents, I still had to discover for myself the attributes of a good father in God. A lot of what I learned in church and in my times with God hadn’t become a deep truth. It sort of hovered around my head and heart without sinking deep into my spirit. I remember reading one of Graham Cooke’s books where he said that God is the kindest person he knew. I almost demanded that God reveals this kindness to me – let’s just say I was convicted and upset that I didn’t know this part of God.
As God answered me, I began to discover his many attributes of a good father. I was, am, and will continue to be amazed at how good he is and his heart towards all of us.
So, without any further adieu, here are a few attributes of a good father that I know without a doubt makes God an incredible daddy:
Attributes of a good father
When I think of a good father, the following come to my mind:
Or do you have no regard for the wealth of His kindness and tolerance and patience [in withholding His wrath]? Are you [actually] unaware or ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness leads you to repentance [that is, to change your inner self, your old way of thinking—seek His purpose for your life]? Romans 2:4 (AMP).
This verse blows my mind away. Where I want to have justice and insist that people do the right thing, God pours out kindness. Kindness softens the hearts of those around us. God is kind. Those little things that happen throughout our day to make us smile are straight from the Father’s heart whether it is getting a package delivered on time, finding that extra bit of money in your pants pocket, or a friend treating you to a cup of coffee (tea, or whatever else you like) are all acts of God’s kindness towards you.
Although he can be angry, he is slow-to-anger () thus his patience towards us is great. Think of how patient He was in the Old Testament. Countless times, the Israelites would commit idolatry, complain, and walk around with an entitlement attitude. Still, God was patient with them and gracious. His grace abounded over and over again in rivers of forgiveness and mercy. God never gives up. You can give up and rest in the truth that God hasn’t given up nor will he.
God doesn’t roll his eyes when we do something wrong or go around the mountain for the tenth time. Think of it like riding a bicycle for the first time. You get on the bike and you fall off or get all wobbly. Your dad is by your side encouraging you, pushing you, his hand nearby. That is what God is like. And, the best part – he doesn’t shout at us or get frustrated.
Gentle and secure
I love gentleness. To me, it communicates a lot more about a person’s character and self-worth than abruptness or bluntness (there’s a place for that too). You need to be secure in your character to be continuously gentle. I love that about God. He doesn’t need to shout at us or zap us with lightning bolts. No, he leads us by the hand; he goes before us and paves the way. When we cry, he cries; and, when we laugh, he laughs. Our heavenly daddy doesn’t mock us or stomp off in a huff. He knows when to speak and when to be silent.
God is love. Enough said. You can’t get anyone more loving than our Father. He has a deep mature love and all that he does comes from a place of rich love. It’s the foundation of every interaction he has with us. It is what we were created from and for. When you need to be loved, God is the best person to go for love. He will allow that love to flow into your life in ways that will be relevant to you and communicate love to you. God knows your language and speaks it.
As a mother, I have found myself face to face with discipline. This doesn’t necessarily mean punishment. While punishment and consequences of our choices are real and part of life, it is not the only part of discipline. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, discipline does have punishment included, however, it’s a bit more than punishment.
I love this particular definition because with God as our good father, he molds, and perfects and corrects our thought processes, behaviors, character, etc. He does this through encouragement, conviction, guidance, gentle reprimands (here and there) and allowing us to experience life. God is not tyrannical in his discipline of us; he is our ally and teacher. He has our backs and paves the way for us. God is on our side all the time.
Value and approval
He is more for us than we realize. The faith he has in us is greater than the faith we have in ourselves. Where we downplay who we are, God looks at us and says, But I know who you are, and you are greater than you realize. When we look down on ourselves, God looks at us for who we are. He sees our value and knows our worth which is not defined by our actions or possessions.
For a really cool video to watch on value with your children or even by yourself, check out Max Lucado’s You Are Special
I love that God remembers that we are human. It means that he is OK that we are not perfect or some character out of a mythological story. He loves that we are human because he sees us – made in his image, alive with his breath of life. Perhaps one of the most life-changing realizations we could have comes when we realize that God looks at us with approval. He doesn’t need us to be better or do more. Yes, he has good works in store for us (which are the outworking of our relationship with him) but if you were to not change at all or do anything more, God would still approve of you.
His thoughts towards you are pleasant and numerous, beyond count. He thinks of you always. You are the apple of his eye, the delight of His heart, the object of his affection. You wouldn’t be any of these if you were disapproved of. When God looks at you, he SMILES 🙂
Protection of a big daddy
Attributes of a good father would not be complete without protection. Children love to be protected by their dads. It brings stability, love, peace, security, and safety to their lives. They know they can trust their daddy to take care of them. God is larger than life. We can believe that about him; it’s one of his greater mysteries. Nothing is impossible for God and no mountain is too big for him.
God has got you in the palm of his hands. He shelters you under his wings and commands his angels charge over you. Not only does God protect you but he also gives you bodyguards (for free :-)) As I tell my children, God is bigger than anything you’ll ever face; more powerful than any bad guy; and his greatest superpower is love.
God has all these attributes of a good father and more. What attributes of a good father has God revealed to you?
Want to learn more about God and His goodness? Check out this awesome book by one of my favorite authors Bill Johnson.
|God Is Good: He’s Better Than You Think
By Bill Johnson
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