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Spoiler alert, this is one of those posts where I am going to be both transparent and vulnerable. As I am always seeking to grow into the Man of God that I am called to be, I know that being open and honest with my thoughts and emotions are the key to victory.

Father’s Day is one of those days that can open a Pandora’s box of emotions. Some good, some bad. It’s not even the day itself that does this, but rather the very mention of the word “father”.

Whether you like to admit it or not, we all have a father. For some, we were blessed to have a father of integrity and character who loved us unconditionally. For others, the word father represents a gap in our lives. It represents a time of hurt. For some of us our dad’s are simply, in the words of James Taylor, “the same old well-known stranger.”

For me, I have a mix of both. I have my biological father who to this day is the “same old well-known stranger” and I have my Step-Father (who has never been “step” but always loved me like his own). My biological father knows very little about me, nor has he ever expressed interest. My other father took me in as his own son, guided me, directed me and showed me unconditional love.

This dichotomy for me always raised questions during my childhood. Confusion would set in nearly every time I spoke to my biological father. The big question of “why” would take up residence in my mind. Why is he not involved, why does he not call me more often, why does he not ask about my interests, why does he not encourage me, why is he so distant?

And I know full well there are others who have experienced situations with their fathers that are horrific and beyond belief. From abuses to abandonment, the sad reality is, many of us do not have a good basis for what a father is.

So when the moment comes for us to acknowledge God as our father, doubt sets in. What we have experienced previously taints us in our expectations of what it means to call God father.

It’s amazing though how your mindset can shift. When I came to know Jesus, it was God as my loving father that drew me in. It was the concept that He loved me unconditionally. Sinner or saint, I was his beloved child. For me, it took¬†many years as a believer to fully grasp this concept.

Truthfully, I think I was always waiting for God to walk away.

And then, I had my son. My world was forever changed. I remember well crying and praying over him just minutes after he was born. I remember making an oath to him then that I would always be by his side, that I would never leave him nor forsake him. I promised to guide him to the best of my ability to become the man and warrior of God that he is destined to be.

It was that day that I started to fully comprehend it. God loves me the same way. He has promised to never leave me or forsake me. He has promised to guide me, direct me, and best of all, love me.

No matter how your earthly father was, good or bad, God intends to be so much more. He desires relationship.

My prayer today is that we not let any preconception¬†of “father” misguide us into what God has promised for us. Today, be honest with God. Tell Him that you need a loving father, and I promise He will fill that spot.

Question: When did you come to the realization of God’s amazing love as our Father?