It was nap time. My two-year-old insisted on walking up the stairs on his own while carrying in his two growing hands his glass bottle, both his binkies, and the misplaced Elena of Avalor doll he found on our recent family road trip. This is a new skill for him, and while safety is important to me, so is his confidence and independence. “Okay, go ahead,” I encouraged him as he began his climb up the stairs with no free hands to hold the railing next to him or the stair in front of him. Slowly, cautiously he lifted his little toddler leg up and planted his little toddler foot onto the first stair. He repeated this process 13 times, alternating legs with each step until he had “Made it!” *little jump* to the top.
He thought he had done it himself, and he was proud. Of course, he hadn’t gone alone. I walked up behind him, hand outstretched with my feet staggered in a strong and steady stance, ready to catch him if he fell. The shadow of my hand hovering behind him covered half the back of his little red sweater.
The image of my hand, visible but unfelt on my son’s back as he undertook this new endeavor, made me think of God. I am getting to know God as a parent, God the Father. I had heard this title before but didn’t understand how it applied to his relationship with me or even that it did apply to me. He is not just the Father of Jesus, the Son. He is the heavenly father of all of his children on Earth. There is “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” Ephesians 4:6. I am better understanding God’s fatherly role as I get into the Word daily, listen to how more mature believers speak of God, and learn more every day what it means to fulfill the role as a parent myself.
What does it mean that God is our Father?
- He loves us. 1 John 4:16
- He delights in us. Zephaniah 3:17
- He provides for us. Luke 12:24
- He disciplines us. Proverbs 3:11-12
- He protects and rescues us. Psalm 91
- He guides us. Psalm 23:1-4
- He desires a relationship with us. Acts 17:27
- He created us and is molding us. Isaiah 64:8
- He gives good gifts to us. Matthew 7:11
- He is there for us. Psalm 27:10
- He comforts us. Philippians 4:6-7
- He knows us. Psalm 139
- He accepts us. Isaiah 54:7-8
God is our father. He is there even when we don’t want him to be. Even when we think we do not need him. Even when we can’t see or feel him. He is shaping us in his way, in his time, with a little bit of our stubborn independence thrown in there for fun. “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” Isaiah 64:8.
He is the perfect parent, perfectly parenting us each individually according to our gifts, personalities, weaknesses, and his purposes for us. He is there to guide us, to catch us, and to love us through the growing pains and the revelations, the triumphs and the wrong choices.
I have to say my toddler making it to the top of the stairs with me closely behind was a proud and revealing parenting moment. Motherhood moments like this are helping me to know and love God and to better understand how the invisible God could know and love me. I am far from the perfect parent. My motives aren’t always pure. My actions aren’t always right, and I have no foreknowledge to know how they will affect my children far into their future. For now, I thank God for his grace as I grow to be more like him and for the opportunity to be a mother here on Earth so that I can better understand him as my parent.
“‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, “We are his offspring'” Acts 17:28.God the Father: what motherhood reveals about God as our parent. #christian #motherhood Click To Tweet