And He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.’” - Luke 11:2
When Jesus taught us how to pray, the first thing He did was tell us how to address God. We’re to address Him as “Father” or “Dad.” This is a very personal way of addressing God, and it shocked people in His day! But Jesus was telling us how we are to think about God. For some, this is difficult, for their earthly fathers don’t conjure up healthy pictures. But Jesus thinks of “Father” as fathers are meant to be. He’s not a cold and distant deity, but one who desires a close relationship with each of us. So based on Jesus’ prayer to His heavenly Father, what does it mean to be a good father?
• It means he is a nourisher. That’s one who provides for the family and meets their material needs. A nourishing father is dependable, responsible, trustworthy, and loving.
• He is also to be a protector. Every home wants a father who is strong, especially in the face of evil, or in threats to the home or the children’s welfare.
• He is an upholder—the upholder of values, character, and the spirit of the family.
That’s really what Jesus is teaching us by using the term “Father.” God is a nourisher. He is a protector. And He is an upholder. In short, God is not a good father; He’s the perfect Father—a Father like fathers are meant to be.
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