Q: Christians refer to God as their father or title him, “Father God.” Why do I need two fathers?
A: Good question. If we already have a father (and everyone does) then why do we need another one? I remember thinking something along those lines way back when I first formed my spiritual convictions: “Can’t I just call him God?” Many people reject the idea of God as a father for the very reason we need two; their earthly father fell far short of being a good example or worse, became a detriment to the lives and destinies of their children. We need two fathers because the earthly one is or was imperfect. God desires us to have the best example of fatherhood possible. “Father God” is the only perfect parent to teach us how it’s done.
Besides, God designed our hearts to need more love than our earthly parents could ever give us. This is because our Creator loves us more, and he wants us to know it. If every component of our lives is without flaw, we have no need for God. Jesus addressed this subtly when he said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:25, NASB. He was addressing the fact that wealthy people struggle with finding a need for Jesus since their earthly needs and wants are all taken care of. If our appetites are satisfied, we won’t easily choose that narrow path. Sometimes living through a bad dad leads us to the real one. Not only do we get the best parent, we also get salvation and eternal life.
The Apostle John said this: “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” 1 John 3:1. Even some of the holiest men in existence marveled that God had accepted them into his family.
In Christian culture we address God as “father” because of this verse and others. When we repent of sin and agree that Jesus Christ is Lord of all, we instantly get adopted, too. We get a new chance at life, a new heart and a new bloodline in the spiritual realm. Only God can change a bloodline! Which is why Jesus was brutally murdered — shedding his own blood instead of ours paved the way for our salvation and opened the door to heaven. We become part of God’s extended family and are grafted into a whole new bloodline when we receive Christ’s salvation gift. So yes, it is spiritually legal to call God our dad. Scripture urges us to honor our earthly father and mother, but it also assures us that we have a father in heaven.
Like you, I was uncomfortable with this idea at first. I already had a sufficient father figure in my teenage version of life and it felt disrespectful to address God like my dad. It felt weird. Too cozy, too. But that’s exactly the point. God is our father; he reproduced us all in his image. He wants to know us in an intimate way; be involved and engaged in our lives like any good parent. Shying away from the person that Jesus himself called “Abba” (Mark 14:36) is the last thing God desires for us to do. “Abba” means “daddy” in Hebrew! Sometimes I pray to my Abba just to remind me that I’m his beloved child and he welcomes me to himself. Further, there are times my heavenly father will comfort me in ways my earthly dad could never begin to. I have different histories now with both of them, and only God knows every detail.
The second and best reason we need two fathers is because we cannot know Jesus fully if we don’t accept God as our Father.
Jesus walked the earth for many reasons. One of the reasons rarely discussed in Christian churches is that he wanted us to know our true father. Everything Jesus did honored Father God and he often said so. Jesus lived out 33 years on earth so we would know what the Father is really like.
— Adrienne Greene pastors a small community of faith in West Harrison, IN. Do you have a question or comment for Pastor Adrienne? Please send your inquiries to: email@example.com or write to P.O. Box 214, Harrison, OH 45030.