The Fatherhood of God

Lou Lotz

READ : Matthew 7:7-11

How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (v. 11)

My sister insists that whenever we address God as father, we are in danger of ascribing to the Almighty a maleness that is not theologically correct. She’s got a point. The Bible defines God with masculine language. But Scripture also speaks of God in feminine, mothering terms. “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you” (Isa. 66:13). We have only human words in our lexicon, and we can only describe God with human analogies. But it needs to be understood that the word father, when used of God, defines not a sexual identity, but a relationship. God is like a father—loving, providing, disciplining, forgiving.

God’s fatherhood, of course, is infinitely greater than even the best human fatherhood. God is not an inept, bumbling father, like I often am. God is not an absentee father, as I sometimes was when my children were small. God’s fatherhood is not oppressive or abusive. God is a father who really fathers. Listen to Jesus: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” God is a father, yet “how much more” is God than any human father.

God’s fatherhood inspires and challenges human fatherhood. May we raise our children with such love and wisdom, care and concern, that it will only seem natural for them to address God as Father.


The Lord’s Prayer