Why Do We Call God Father?

Why Do We Call God Father?

We just celebrated Father’s Day with my husband.  Our children are adults, and we have called a moratorium on gifts.  We don’t need more “stuff” and the best gift is to spend time with them.  Even a phone call or a video chat with the far-flung children is a great gift.

My Dad passed away seven years ago, and I spent his last Father’s Day with him in hospice.  He was hardworking, loved my Mom dearly, and treasured his family. But no matter what great characteristics our earthly fathers have, I know we have one perfect Father, and that is God.  And then my mind wandered… Why do we call God by the title “Father”?

Names of God

Christians universally refer to God as Father.  One of the earliest prayers I learned was the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus said, “Pray like this, Our Father in heaven…” So I do. We refer to the Trinity as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  It’s hard not to associate the word Father with God.

The Jews in the OT, however, never used “Father” to address God.  They had many respectful and meaningful names for God (an excellent Bible study in itself!) and God even gave himself a name: “I AM”.

Do you know who the first Jewish rabbi was to specifically call God “Father”?

It was Jesus!

In all but one of Jesus’ prayers, he calls God “Father.”  When Jesus used this intimate term for God, it angered the Jews.  God was the Father of their nation, not the equivalent of a personal, earthly Father. How dare he speak of God that way! But Jesus gives us the privilege of addressing God as our Father as well.  He truly is our Father since he permanently adopted us through our belief in Jesus. He is in every sense, the perfect Father!

And we are in every sense, his children.

Knowing God as our Father

Thinking of God as our Father, do you suppose he would He appreciate and treasure the gift of your time? If He could speak to you today, here is what I think our heavenly Father would want to say to you:

My Dear Child,

Good morning my precious one!  I have set the beauty of my creation around you; have you seen it yet?  What part especially touches you today?  It is my heart’s desire to draw you closer to me today.  Have you seen me in a picture, heard me in a song, or read about my love and care for you from my book?   I give you my strength today by the power of my Holy Spirit living in you.  I want you to be confident today and full of courage. Please don’t forget that I am with you always!  You know my plan for you is perfect, right?  You can trust me, my promises are true and never, ever fail.

The perfect world I created has been corrupted by sin, and this brings you trials and sadness.  I send hope, comfort, and love in the form of my Son to give you peace that seems impossible, but it is real! 

I see your sin and discipline you. As your perfect Father, my discipline is only done out of love.  Don’t shrug it off or feel crushed with guilt and shame!  My son died for you and because you believe in Him, I see you as forgiven- 100%!   I have a marvelous plan to bring you to me into my perfect heavenly place.  There is a reservation here in your name just waiting!

I hope to hear from you today.  Our time together is precious.  I love you more than you could ever imagine!  You are never alone and I am always a word or a thought away!

Loving you now and forever,

Your Father

Praying blessings for you today!


2 thoughts on “Why Do We Call God Father?”

  1. Cynthia McCarthy

    That was excellent! I didn’t know that Jesus was the first person in the Bible to call God “Father”
    Love the sweet letter from God at the end.
    Thanks, Ann

    1. Thanks so much Cindy! I was surprised to find out that Jesus was the first person to call God “Father” also. God had so many names, I assumed Father was one of them.

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