One young man was adopted as an infant by a wonderful couple. After adopting him, the couple had two biological children so he grew up with siblings in a healthy family setting. He had a very good childhood yet there was an innate desire to connect with his biological mom and dad. His adoptive parents were very supportive and upon graduation from college, opened the door for him to connect with his birth mother.
Another young man grew up in a home where he experienced an odd disconnect with the dad. There was never an experience that reflected a healthy father-son relationship. It was a tough home situation that involved alcoholism and abuse. Early on as an Alter Boy in the Catholic church, the priests provided a representation of what he thought a real father might look like. Beyond that, he searched out father-figures he could emulate.
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. – Galatians 4:4-7. “Abba” is Aramaic for ‘father’ or ‘daddy’. The journey an adoptee embarks upon in search of his earthly father can be daunting – an emotional rollercoaster ride. The dad may not want to be found and may not be welcoming. Earthly fathers in the best of families fall short of the glory the Heavenly Father reflects. God is our Father and He wants to be found. “And I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty. – 2 Corinthians 6:16-17. Our dads, whatever the home situation – adoptive, absent, abusive or great, did the best they could do with what life dealt them. Our Father knew your situation and used it to shape you into the father you are today. The charge to each of us as fathers is to embrace Abba and point to Him every day by prioritizing physical presence, engaging emotionally and leading spiritually by example.
On the adoptee journey, connecting with the birth mother is relatively easy when there is open access to birth records. Not so for the biological father because he usually is not identified on the birth certificate. On the spiritual journey, connecting with the Heavenly Father is relatively easy because there is open access to a new birth record, His Word the Bible. When the Lord told Mary upon His resurrection, “Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to My Father and Your Father, to My God and Your God.’”- John 20:17, Jesus connected all that are willing to listen to a relationship with Abba, Father.
Prayer guide: Lord, I thank You for Your Word and for the earthly father and father-figures You blessed me with. I confess that I focused on the physical influence my father had or failed to have on me, effectively blaming him for struggles I faced. Forgive me. You opened access to a new birth record through Jesus the Christ that showed how You are at work in all things for the good of those who love You (Rom.8:28). Help me coach my family well under You, Abba, Father by prioritizing physical presence, engaging emotionally and leading spiritually by example. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father coaches his family well under Abba, Father.