I love the mornings when my boy Ezra wakes up and he just wants to snuggle. He is a year and a half old, twenty some pounds of dynamite and energy. He seldom wants to snuggle. But some mornings he does. I love getting to hold my son and telling him I love him.
And I do love him. I adore him. I am crazy about him and love being his daddy. And he adores me. He loves to wrestle, play, and tell me about the “capuchin” monkeys at the zoo. And he loves to cheer on his daddy. One day I was beating my friend Dustin at backyard soccer, and Ezra was on the trampoline jumping and watching. After I scored an epic goal, Ezra ran to the edge of the trampoline and put out his arms. I ran over to him thinking he wanted down. Instead he just wanted to give me a hug and yell, “Go Daddy!” It was awesome.
I remember the first night I brought Ezra home and it felt like my heart had exploded. I wept with joy and love. Lindsey and I both felt like Will Ferrell in Elf after his first date with Zoey Deschanel. All we could say was, “I am in love, I am in love, and I don’t care who knows it.”
ABBA FATHER – DADDY GOD
Ezra and I have a real relationship. I am his daddy, and he is my boy. That means something. It is a gift, and it is a blessing. Some will read this and be sad they don’t have kids, and some might read this and be sad they had a crappy dad or no dad at all. That is sad and is part of the curse of the fall. We were created to love and be loved. Sin has come into the world and separated us from God and one another. Sin is a relationship destroyer. But God is love. Christ proves his love for us through his death on the cross, and brings us back into perfect relationship back with our heavenly Father.
Our God is a Daddy. He reveals himself as Abba Father. One whose arms we can rest in. One whom we can watch, adore and, cheer on. And he loves us too. We are his beloved children. His kids. His girl. His boy.
GOD’S COVENANTAL LOVE
One of the things I told Ezra when he was born was that he never has to work for my love. That I love him with a covenantal love. I choose to love him forever. It is a love that is not based on his performance. This is the love our Father loves us with. It is an everlasting covenant.
He chooses us, adopts us, creates the way for us to be in his family forever, and loves us in spite of our performance and rebellion. This is a love we do not deserve, and it is a powerful and perfect love. He is not ashamed to love us as he loves us and doesn’t care who knows it!
It can be so easy to forget this covenantal love when you feel the weight of trying to perform — trying to prove yourself to the world and to others and ultimately to God. I remember feeling this way not to long ago. I can often slip into this feeling, and it is heavy and exhausting. One day, I was feeling this weight and some friends prayed over me. One of them had a vision of God looking at me and saying – “I love you. You are my boy. Rest, Jake. The Father loves you. You don’t have to perform, as I am already here with you.” I wept under the freedom of these powerful and loving words. My God is a relational God. He is a Daddy that loves me. And I get to run to him, hug him, and cheer him on – “Go Daddy!”
WHO’S YOUR DADDY?
Knowing our Father helps us know who we are. As Christians we are sons and daughters of a holy and perfect Father. We are not alone. We belong to a heavenly family and will live together for eternity. We don’t have to take on life’s pain and struggles like a cowboy in a Clint Eastwood movie, but instead we get to share our triumphs and trials as a church praying together to “our Father who art in heaven.”
If you are feeling the weight of loneliness or the pressure to prove yourself, I want to encourage you to confess it to God and to your church family. I want to encourage you to run to your Father’s arms and let him embrace you and tell you the truth of his love for you. Praise and thank him that you are not alone and that you don’t have to perform for his love. Tell some of your church friends to remind you of these truths — that you have a perfect daddy. Rest in this beautiful truth and when the world asks you why you have such peace and rest in a chaotic world, point them to your loving Father!
Jake Chambers is a member of Jesus’ bride – the church, husband to his beautiful bride Lindsey, and a daddy to his boy Ezra. Jake is passionate about seeing the gospel both transform lives and create communities that love Jesus, the city, and the lost. He currently serves Red Door Church through leading, preaching, equipping, and pastoring. You can read more of his writing at reddoorlife.tv.
For more in-depth reading about family discipleship, see Family Worship, by Winfield Bevins.
For more free articles about loving our children with the love of the Father, check out Ways to Love Your Children, by Patrick Morley, and Kids in the Family of God – Part One and Kids in the Family of God – Part Two, by Ben Connelly.