As teens, we have a special understanding of what a father is.
Most of us live with our fathers or have recently lived with them, so the concept of what a father is and does is still pretty fresh in our minds. While we live under our father’s roof, we experience aspects of him we wouldn’t otherwise. We understand he is there to comfort us, but also to discipline us. He is not only a guide but a provider.
Do you recognize that God the Father has the same roles?
The Roles of God the Father
When you become a Christian, God adopts you into His family. You become His son or daughter, and He becomes your Father.
Your Heavenly Father is different from your earthly father in many ways. God is perfect. God created the universe. God holds everything in His hands. God has never made a mistake, while your earthly father has had his share of them.
Yet, much of what God does is mirrored by what good earthly fathers do.
1.The Father Comforts Us
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
Just as many of us can go to our dads for comfort during hardships, we can also go to our Heavenly Father.
We can experience even greater comfort from our Heavenly Father because He understands us. Psalm 139:3 says that God knows what we do and knows our ways.
Later in the Psalm, it says that God created us. He knows and understands us well.
Think about it this way: if you created the world’s best watch, wouldn’t you know everything about it? You would know the materials of the watch, what its gears do, and how you arranged them inside it.
Just like you would understand that watch, God understands us.
It’s so amazing that the One who understands us best is the One who comforts us. We never have to explain our situation to God because He already understands.The One who understands us best is the One who comforts us. We never have to explain our situation to God because He already understands. Click To Tweet
He knows our needs before we know them ourselves, and only He can satisfy them.
That knowledge comforts me.
2.The Father Guides Us
“He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).
Think of the last time you went to your father for guidance. Did he give you good advice? Like your earthly father, God offers us guidance. But there is one essential distinction between your dad and God.
You can’t guarantee your dad is going to give you good advice if you go to him. He’s human. He makes mistakes.
But God will never lead us in the wrong direction. He knows us better than we know ourselves and He knows what’s best for us.You can’t guarantee your dad is going to give you good advice, he’s human and makes mistakes. But God will never lead us in the wrong direction. Click To Tweet
We shouldn’t view what God says as mere advice—we should view His words as truth with authority to direct our lives.
God will never be too busy to talk when we seek His guidance. He loves talking with us, and He’s given us the Bible so we can know exactly what He desires for our lives. He will lead us in paths of righteousness. All we have to do is follow Him.
3.The Father Disciplines Us
“For the LORD reproves him whom He loves, as a father the son in whom He delights” (Proverbs 3:12).
Those of us who live under our earthly father’s roof generally have to follow his rules. If we don’t, he disciplines us. And though we don’t like discipline, it makes us less likely to break the rules in the future.
Psalm 24 says that the earth is the Lord’s. No matter where we live, we are living in a place that belongs to the Lord. God gets to decide what happens on Earth and He decides whether to punish those who disobey Him. We are subject to His discipline.
But God’s discipline is good—it’s meant to point us in the right direction and teach us when we are wrong. Wouldn’t you rather someone correct you when you’re wrong than let you make the same mistake? God loves us enough to discipline us to prevent future mistakes.
4.The Father Provides for Us
“But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith!” (Luke 12:28).
If you are living under your father’s roof, chances are he pays the bills and buys the groceries. He provides you shelter, water, medicine, doctor visits, and anything else you need.
But God is in control of everything. Do you think your earthly father would be able to provide for your family’s necessities if it were not for God’s providence?
If you’ve made it this far in life, it is because God has provided for you. He controls your every breath. He commands your next heartbeat and knows when you will have your last.
God’s provision doesn’t ensure we’ll be wealthy in life, or that we’ll never want food, clothes, or a vacation. God wants to bring glory to Himself and advance His kingdom.
He will allow us to go through hard things for His good plan. Growth can result from the trials we go through, and how we face them has an impact on our souls. If we need to go through adversity to advance God’s kingdom, we will go through adversity.
The key is that God will give us what we need to get through it. God provides what is necessary to accomplish His purpose in our lives. He will provide what we need to serve Him to the best of our ability.
5. The Father Loves Us
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
What most children look for in a father is love. The good things a father does for his children flow out of his love. If your father loves you, he will show that love in some way—maybe he’ll make time for you, seek to understand you, or do what’s best for you.
God loves us enough that He was willing to send His only Son to Earth to die and remove the divide between us and the Father so we can become His children.
How awesome is that love? If you want to know how much God loves you, look at what He’s done for you. Out of God’s love flows everything else that He does for us. He wouldn’t comfort us, guide us, discipline us, or provide for us if He didn’t love us.Out of God’s love flows everything else that He does for us: His comfort, guidance, discipline, or provision. Click To Tweet
God loves you.
A Distinction Between Earthly Fathers and the Heavenly Father
The examples listed of what a father does were specific to good fathers. Not all earthly fathers are good.
Earthly fathers leave sometimes. Earthly fathers fail us. Earthly fathers are human—our Heavenly Father is not, so He will never leave us or fail us.
If your earthly father left you, if you don’t have a good dad to show you what fatherly love looks like, or if your father breathed his last before he could watch you grow up, I’m sorry. It hurts my heart that you had to go through that. Those circumstances are the result of a fallen world.
To teens whose fathers make mistakes: remember that they are sinners. They need forgiveness. Don’t allow unforgiveness toward your earthly father to hinder your relationship with your Heavenly Father.
No matter the state of your earthly father, your Heavenly Father will never fail you.
Look to God as your True Father. Your earthly father may provide for now, but God provides sustenance forever. He is our comfort and our guide. He loves us and disciplines us out of that love. He is our Father.