God the Father

I'll probably get myself into trouble with this post, but it's been on my mind lately. I tend to think better while my fingers are flying over the keyboard, so I hope you'll bear with me.

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about God the Father. Or, to be more specific, about God not being referred to as Father, but instead exclusively by non-gender-specific titles, such as Creator or the Almighty. This person--for whom I have a great deal of respect, by the way--said, "Some people are sensitive to referring to God as Father because they were raised in abusive households. They don't have a good image of fathers, so they can't think of God in those terms. Perhaps we need to be sensitive to those people."

I've heard speakers trying to avoid gender-specific pronouns, and sometimes it sounds like they're doing verbal acrobatics trying to keep the language gender free, such as, "God gave God's self so that we may spend eternity with God." I know I'm probably being insensitive, but that just rubs me the wrong way.

I was raised in one of the households my friend referred to. Trust me, I have complete sympathy for anyone with bad feelings connected to the title of 'father.' But I guess my reaction is different than some in similar situations. It has always given me a huge amount of comfort and a sense of safety to know that I have a heavenly Father who loves me. I never tried to fit God into the model of my earthly father or stepfather, because I've always known at a deep level that, unlike them, God is pure, and awesome, and loving, and powerful, and... well, He's God. It seems to me that if someone knows their earthly father wasn't good, they have that knowledge because they have at least a tiny glimmer of what "good" should look like. That glimmer is how I view God. He's the ideal, the perfect Father that all others should try to model, not the other way around. Every earthly father is going to fall short of perfection, many of them far short.

I'm not saying everybody must view God the same way I do. But neither can I change the way I think of Him. God is my Father. He's always been my Father, and that's what I call Him most of the time. Jesus referred to God as Father, and called Him a He. Can't I do the same, while maintaining a sensitive heart for those who need His healing touch in their lives and emotions? (Take a minute right now to join me in asking God for that healing on behalf of those who need it.)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. I don't enable comments on my Journal because I don't have time to moderate them. (I have friends who've been subject to some pretty nasty public comments, and I don't care to repeat their experiences.) But if you ever want to let me know what you think of my Journal or my books, please go to the Contact page of my website an send me a message.

(And if this post is waaaaayyyy too heavy for you, take a minute to read "You Might Be Hot Flashing If..." in the Journal archives!)