The Bible, on many occasions, refers to God as our Father. Sometimes we kick off our prayers with “Dear Father,” but do we really view God as our Father? What kind of impact would it have on our lives and our relationships with God if we truly viewed Him as our Father? As I reflected on this concept, I thought about what different traits I would look for in a perfect dad. I came up with five different traits that all perfect dads need to have, and looked to Scripture to see how our God stacks up to those traits.
The first trait of a perfect dad is that he needs to be a creator. We all needed to be created to live. I’m not going to go into detail on exactly how that happens (to avoid any weirdness, haha), but the big picture is that our Heavenly Father is our ultimate Creator. Isaiah 64:8 says, “O Lord You are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are the work of Your hands.” If you have ever worked with clay, you know how delicate the process is to create the perfect mug. We are God’s children - He knew us before our earthly parents did and He created us with purpose.
Another trait of a perfect dad is that he must be a provider. When I think of a perfect father, I think of someone who will do whatever it takes to make sure that everyone in his house has food to eat, shelter to sleep under, and clothes for their backs - no matter how difficult it may be at times and how many sacrifices that may take. Matthew 6:8 says, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him,” and later in the same chapter, verse 26 says, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” God knows our needs - yes the obvious ones of needing food and shelter, but He knows our deeper needs as well. Our need for friends and companionship, need for strength in difficult times, needs for guidance and clarity amidst a big decision, etc. As your Heavenly Father, He will provide for you.
One stand out trait that any perfect dad needs is he has to be powerful! He has to be able to beat up any other dad - this is the classic elementary school argument, right?! The perfect dad, surely, would be able to beat up all other dads. Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…” This verse isn’t necessarily talking about dad fights, but it does mention God’s power. He is power! He created all that you see and sustains all life, He is a miracle worker. He knows all, sees all, and has the power to literally do anything. It is good to know that a Father this powerful is on our side!
When you think of someone who is full of brute strength and power, you may not think of them also having tons of compassion. But, another critical trait of a perfect dad is to be compassionate. Kids get hurt and make mistakes at times, and a perfect dad should be able to swoop into action with compassion, care, and grace. Psalm 103:13 says “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear Him.” Our Heavenly Father desires us to turn to Him when we are down and out because He has a full heart of compassion for all His children. 1 Peter 5:7 encourages us by saying “casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
The final trait I wanted to discuss is perhaps the most obvious, yet most important. A perfect dad will love perfectly. This type of love is a no strings attached, unconditional love - no matter how bad his children mess up. Our Heavenly Father is the definition of love, when 1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love,” and 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.” It is so good to know there’s nothing you could ever do to have God stop loving you.
These aren't the only five traits of a perfect dad, and they aren’t necessarily even the top five traits. I just thought these were some strong characteristics of a perfect dad. But why look through these traits? Because sometimes I think we view God as an old wise sage, off in the far distance on another planetary system with a fantastic white beard. But if we focus on God as the perfect Father of our lives, that makes our relationship with Him much more personal, real, and impactful. To know you were created for a purpose, that you will always be provided for - to have confidence in a Father who is supremely powerful, yet has compassion for you when you’re at a low point. To know you are loved, even when you feel unlovable... This is the reality for those who have a relationship with God. He is not just some distant mythical bearded guy in the sky, He is your perfect Heavenly Father.