Our Father in Heaven

Click here to listen to the audio of this 11-minute message. Or watch the YouTube video below, or read the summary text that follows.

As we celebrate Father’s Day today, we have to acknowledge that there are many bad fathers and indeed bad men out there – fathers who are absent or disengaged, fathers who beat their partners, fathers who rape or murder other women, fathers who beat or sexually abuse their children. Far too many people have had negative experiences of fathering.

I too have my own experiences of this, including being sexually exploited by a man who, recognising my vulnerabilities, set himself up as a father figure and took advantage of me when I was young.

For those of us who have had negative experiences of fathering, building a relationship with God, who is our heavenly Father, can be a corrective emotional experience. It can begin to undo the negative impacts of inadequate human fathering.

Let me tell you about our Father God:

  • Father God is always listening and always ready to respond. He hears our cry and he responds to us.
  • Father God loves us utterly, unconditionally, extravagantly. To the moon and back. There is nothing he would not do for us.
  • Father God has super-high expectations of us. But he never rejects us when we don’t live up to them. And he always forgives us when we fail.
  • Father God, when we leave him, stands in the road, waiting for us, looking for us. And when he finally sees he throws out his arms and runs down the road to welcome us.
  • Father God feeds us. He sets a lavish table for us and invites our best friends to join in the meal. He pours out drink that overflows with generosity.
  • Father God promises to be with us always, every moment, and to the very end of time.

If you have had a negligent, or absent, or emotionally unavailable, or overly strict, or violent, or sexually abusive father, know that you have a Father in heaven who loves you utterly and in a completely non-exploitative way.

Today is a day when we can say, “Happy Father God  Day”!

2020.06.21_tn-dads-can-bond-with-baby

Featured image from https://wicbreastfeeding.fns.usda.gov/some-ways-dads-can-bond-baby

2 thoughts on “Our Father in Heaven

  1. John Bewsey says:

    Hi Adrian

    Kathy’s funeral was a sort of celebration. Her daughter in law thought of a such a Kathy idea – we got stick-on labels – A5 size and gave them out with pencils at the door and asked everyone to write their love-letter to Kathy – about half way through we all came up and stuck them on the casket (and that is how it will go to the crematorium). So their love-prayers will be burnt up to Kathy – they just loved it.

    Instead of tears there was smiling and love for each other – what a wonderful send off!

    A comment on this talk of yours – I always say to people that God made us – and I point out some of the scientific wonders of our individual creation – and I ask does a sculpture work on a serious work that he/she is proud of and then set about destroying it? So, why would God do such a stupid thing if we are billions of times more beautiful and more complex than a sculpture to actively set about breaking up this wonder.

    Only Satan tries to destroy God’s perfect works because he wants to upset God – and I’m sure God weeps when Satan does terrible things to His beautiful works of art = us.

    What happened to you was Satan doing his best – he didn’t succeed against you – praise all the saints in Heaven!

    Thanks for all you did for Kathy – she was amazing but she needed to be uplifted all the time as she was somewhat neglected as a child (long story) and I spent lots of time showing her how well she had done and how her model – Prof Erica Theron would have been so proud of her. She always smiled then and thanked me for having unending confidence in her abilities (and beauty).

    It was a privilege to have been Kathy’s husband – even for half her life.

    Regards

    John Bewsey

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  2. Dear John. Thank you for sharing about Kathy’s funeral and the beautiful way in which you were able to sent her body off. We know that she is in the presence of our Lord, and despite the loss, there is some comfort in that. It was my privilege to have worked with Kathy and to have supported her Emeritus Professorship in the last years of her life. I often got the sense from her that this was far more important to her personally than I had realised – you have confirmed that – and I am pleased that I could play a small part in that.

    Thank you also for your reflection on this message on the joy that God has in his creation, and of Satan’s work to destabilise it. It is helpful to remember that the world we see is not all there is, and that there are powers beyond this world that seek to compromise God’s good creation.

    God bless you and be close to you in your loss. I and many of us will remember Kathy for many years to come.

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