Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Eternal Father as Model for Fatherhood

“When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God...”

~Romans 8:15c-16 (NRSV).

If we cannot at first identify with God as our “daddy” — our Abba, Father — we cannot believe in the remaining aspects of the character of God. From this basis, our Eternal Father, we have life.

An Image of Fatherhood All Humanity Needs

From this basis — a “fatherly” Eternal Father — we have bearing and derive meaning. From the vibrant image of God the course to fatherhood is set, and the drive to complete that course is engendered.

From this image, also, we have the wherewithal to believe that life is good because we have a God who loves us. Though many unbelieving kin may underestimate the value of this perspective, it is irrefutable — by the very nature and need of family that we all have — that God has created an indelible model for us to follow.

We were all once children; at that time we all needed responsible parents. It is only the rogue that never had this; never did they rely on worthy parents, for they never had them. There are many such unfortunates in this world. Why is it that they say they don’t need good parents (or the Eternal Father)? It is only because it hurts to go there.

Nonetheless, we were all born to have an intimate relationship with our Eternal Father; the consummate Responsible Parent.

Fatherhood – Inherent to Relationship

When we consider the innateness of intimacy between God as Father and us as his children we can see a connection, relationally, that bears primary consideration to all of life.

As the Eternal Father is inherently and magnanimously relational, so are we to be.

We can soon see that there is value in being a father and a human being to be relied upon, whilst there is little value in constantly disappointing the people who must rely on us. We’re inextricably linked with the rest of humanity in deeply interdependent ways.

Mimicking the Perfect Morality of the Eternal Father

Not far from knowing the cataclysmic difference between the morality of Divinity and that of humankind, we still have the power in the Spirit to draw upon in our decision-making.

We are, after all, children of the Most High God. We’re nothing less than Divinity’s kin — heirs to eternal fortune.

These facts are good both ways. Perfection is not required of us, yet we have opportunities every day, indeed every moment, to reach the heights of God — our eternal model of fatherhood.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Graphic Credit: Cima da Conegliano, God the Father, c. 1515.

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