“Our Heavenly Daddy”
by Hannah Sponholz
Our church is currently going through a series on The Sermon on the Mount. Awhile back, we spent a few weeks going through The Lord’s Prayer. Our pastor really challenged us, encouraged us, and taught us throughout each sermon, but the thing that stuck with me most, was one of the very first things he said. “Our Father.” Here, he said, “Father” was translated from “Abba” which would actually be most closely related to our word “daddy” rather than father.
So, why did it stick with me? Why am I sharing it with you?
I grew up in a divorced household. Although God was able to make beautiful things happen, despite that, one thing that I lacked growing up was a “daddy”. Sure, I had a FATHER (who I saw every other weekend). I love him very much, and he loves me. But he was never a “daddy” to me. He was not very involved in my life, and our relationship was much more positional and based on the fact that we shared DNA. I also had a step-father, who I love very much and loves me. He WAS very involved in my life. He taught me to ride a bike and mow the lawn. He’s given me some of my spunk. If my car broke down, you better believe he was the first one I called. And yet, he doesn’t quite reach “daddy” status either. For you see, I always called him by his name (or nicknames)…but never “dad/daddy”. Although I 100% consider him part of my family, natural barriers that come with divorce kept him slightly removed. My mom was the one who I was always closest to, who always got the first hug when I’d come home from college, and who did most of the discipline (which I rarely needed or course *wink*) (see, there’s that spunk). So, I had a FATHER and a step-DAD.
My girls however, have a DADDY. The one they race to with arms open wide. Who they fight over to see who’s turn it is to have him put them to bed at night. Who they curl into when scared or shy. Who disciplines out of love without ever having to raise his voice. To them, he is “daddy”. It is a comfortable, intimate, secure term given out of unconditional love. I am so glad that God has called me His daughter, and that I can have a magnified version of this with Him.
So as Jesus prayed, “Our Father”, he was saying “Our DADDY”. See how that changes that whole prayer? First of all, he said OUR…meaning that relationship that comes from a daddy…belongs between us and God as well! Secondly, “Our Father, who art in heaven” has a very different feel to it than “Our Daddy…” doesn’t it? Like we’re just speaking our heart to our Dad instead of a prayer of duty.
This world is filled with broken homes. Maybe the word “daddy” is foreign to you as well. Maybe those paternal names fill you with shattered memories of loss, abandonment, apathy, abuse. Maybe the fact that God is our Father AND our daddy make you want to flee Him rather than run to Him. But know this, He is no earthly father. He is perfect. He created you, knows you, loves you. He wants you to run into his protective arms. He is better than anything even the best earthly father could dream of being like.
You know, Jesus uses the term “Abba” later as well (In Matthew 26). When he is in the garden facing the upcoming torture, abandonment, and death. He is crying out of desperation to God to “let this cup pass”. Maybe you’re in a scary place as well and need to cry out to your Heavenly Daddy.
So, whatever your earthly parent-situation, I hope that this can be an encouragement to you. You are positionally and relationally connected to God as his son or daughter through Christ. (If you aren’t sure if you are, or want to learn how to become that…write us a comment, find us on facebook, or email us!) Know that you are so loved!