The Only Perfect Parent
By Sharon Jaynes
Key Verse: "In love He predestined us to be adopted as his sons
through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise
of His glorious grace, which he has freely gives us in the One He loves"
(Ephesians 1:5-6 NIV).
For many, the idea of God being their father may not be a pleasant one. We
have a human tendency to project our perception of fatherhood, based on our own
experience with our earthly fathers, onto our idea of the fatherhood of God.
Some never knew their earthly fathers, some had abusive fathers, some were
deserted by their fathers, some had loving endearing fathers and some lost their
fathers due to sickness or catastrophe. When I was growing up, I never had
lengthy conversations with my father, therefore, when I became a Christian, it
was very difficult for me to have lengthy conversations with my heavenly Father
– Prayer was difficult. We need to remove the mask of our earthly parent from
the face of God. Even the best earthly fathers have feet of clay and will
disappoint their children.
No matter what your past experience with your earthly father has been, the
truth is, your heavenly Father is the perfect parent who loves you, cares for
your every need, is interested in all you do, skillfully guides you, wisely
trains you, never deserts you, generously supplies for your needs, is always
available to you, and cherishes you as His precious child.
God has made a way for us to clearly understand what He is like. If we want
to know the Father, the only perfect parent, we have but to look at the life of
His Son. Jesus said, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father...The words I
say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is
doing his work" (John 14:9,10). The writer of Hebrews explained, "The Son is the
radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining
all things by his powerful word" (Hebrews 1:3). If you understand what Jesus is
like, you understand what God is like, and the more intimately you know the Son,
the more clearly you understand the character of the Father.
The Bible says that we have been adopted (Ephesians 1:5) and made an heir
(Galatians 4:7). Let's take a look at how adoption was carried out in Jesus'
In Ancient Rome, fathers chose a child for adoption when they weren't able to
have children of their own. They adopted a son in order to have someone to carry
on the family name and leave their inheritance. It was a legal relationship, all
ties to the child's natural family were severed and the child was placed in a
new family with the same prestige and privileges as a natural child, including
becoming an heir. If the child had any debt, it was immediately cancelled. The
adoption was a sealed process with many witnesses making it official.1
In modern times, we tend to think of adoption more in terms of adopting a
baby. However, in Biblical times, adoption usually took place after the child
was older and had proved to be fit to carry on the family name in a worthy
manner. How incredible that our Heavenly Father chose us, not because of any
merit of our own, but before the beginning of time. He chose us, not because we
were worthy, but in spite of the fact that we were not.
Our adoption takes place the moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and
Savior. Our debt is canceled (paid in full) and we are placed in God's family to
carry on His name and become an heir. "And you also were included in Christ (in
his family) when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.
Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who
are God's possession – to the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:13-14). The Holy
Spirit is a down payment or a deposit of our future inheritance. "He anointed
us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his spirit in our hearts as a
deposit, guaranteeing what is to come" (2 Corinthians 1:22).
Many verses refer to God's children as sons. This does not mean that God only
has male children or that only male children inherit the kingdom of God. "In the
Hebrew language the word son can be used figuratively to characterize people as
to their origin and nature. Hence, we see such expressions as "sons of the
prophets" (Acts 3:25 NKJV), "sons of the resurrection" (Luke 20:36 NKJV), "a son
of peace" (Luke 10:6)....Thus, the biblical term sons of men means "humans"...
Understanding the biblical term son helps clarify that the term "sons of God"
does not mean "male offspring." In calling believers His sons, God is
communicating that believers find their origin in Him and bear the same nature
"Adoption is a family idea, conceived in terms of love, and viewing God as
father. In adoption, God takes us into His family and fellowship, and
establishes us as His children and heirs. Closeness, affection and generosity
are at the heart of the relationship. To be right with God the judge is a great
thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the father is greater."3
Dear Lord, Thank you for adopting me as your child. Even though I had many
faults and failures, you chose me anyway. Lord, I pray that I will become more
and more like you, my Father, every day. Do whatever it takes to make me into a
child that resembles her dad. I love you. In Jesus' name, Amen.