Slightly Obsessed #099 "A Daddy's Love" by Pamela Thorson on 2015-02-11 08:55:48
“You have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” —Romans 8:15
“Abba! An informal Aramaic term for Father that conveys a sense of intimacy. Like the English words for ‘Daddy’ or ‘Papa,’ it connotes tenderness, dependence, and a relationship free of fear or anxiety.” — John MacArthur
The child in the old black-and-white print can’t be more than several months old. Wisps of blonde hair frame a cherubic face. Her wide, toothless grin lights up the room. She is perched on someone’s lap, her fat little hands clutched around the tanned, large fingers steadying her. Her eyes, focused adoringly on the face beyond the camera, say it all:
For more than sixty years, those same hands never let her go. They steadied her as she took her first steps, propelled her down the country lane on her first bike, and released her to her groom. Her daddy stayed up evenings helping her with her homework, and he stayed up nights watching until she made it home safely.
He took on any errant teacher, bus driver, or bully that dared to hurt his little girl.
He cried the day he walked her down the aisle. He proudly pronounced each new grandchild the perfect addition. Over the decades he abundantly lavished his prayers, finances, and time on his beloved family.
He cheered every victory and grieved over every heartache as if it were his own. Besides my husband, he has been my refuge, one who makes me feel safe and cherished. I still run to him when I’ve fallen down and skinned my soul.
The cherub is now old and gray. But my earthly daddy is still here, teaching me the meaning of true fatherhood.
Glenn T. Stanton of Focus on the Family recently challenged the association of the term Abba with “Daddy.”* But his objection appears to be with the nuances attached to the word “Daddy,” rather than its description of a loving relationship with our heavenly Father.
When a child sees her father, she doesn’t agonize over the subtleties of his name. She recognizes the face of someone who loves her. She rejoices in who he is. In arguing the linguistic origins of the word Abba, we may strain out the gnat only to swallow the camel. In our haste to ensure we haven’t muddied the name of the Father, we may relegate a beautiful English word picture to a shallow grave out of fear of being irreverent.
Our Father in heaven loves us. He loves who we are, just as we are. Every pure action we attribute to our earthly fathers has its origin in Him. Whether we call Him “Father” or “Daddy,” we owe Him our complete respect and absolute adoration.
I don’t call my dad “Daddy” anymore. But when I’m with him, I still see the same unconditional love that captured my heart as a child. In the same way, my love for God has grown and matured through the years. But He’s still Abba, Father.
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her second book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver, released in 2014. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
As I sat at the red light, a pick-up pulled up beside me in the other lane. The window was rolled down, and the driver rested his arm lazily on the door ledge. A chihuahua fur baby sat perched in the crook of the driver’s arm, yapping with all its tiny might at the pickup in front of me.
Slightly Obsessed #215: Sunday School Had It Right
A Ugandan friend once told us that growing up in Sunday school, he quickly learned how to answer the Bible questions in class. “The right answer,” he said with a smile, “is always, ‘Jesus.’" As a child, no matter what question was posed in class, he always answered, “Jesus.”
Slightly Obsessed #214: Friendly Fire
In 1788, the Austrian army turned on itself and decimated its own ranks, allowing its enemy to walk in and take the city. Are we allowing the same thing to happen on the spiritual battlefield?
Slightly Obsessed #213: God of the Mountains
While life is so uncertain, one thing is: God loves us so much, and He will never abandon us. No matter what happens in the coming days, months, or years, God is in control. And He will give us the strength to overcome any trial that comes our way.
Jordan For Jesus #039: Find the GOLD in People
Find the GOLD in people. If you only see fault, error, wrongs, sins, and what is bad, in people, then you have no time to love them. You cannot judge people and love people, at the same time, which is why the Word of God instructs us to look for what is good in people. When we look for the good, in people, we are choosing to see people through the eyes of God.
Slightly Obsessed #212: Believe
Sometimes it feels like just getting out of bed sets us up for defeat. But we shouldn’t be surprised. God clued us in thousands of years ago in the book of Job when He warned us that we are born for trouble as surely as sparks from a fire will fly up into the sky.