Our perception of God the Father can be hugely influenced – in both positive and negative ways, depending on our experiences – by our relationship with our earthly father. Those who never knew an earthly father often feel floundering and bereft when it comes to this subject; those who suffered abuse or neglect from an earthly father can find it exceedingly difficult to trust God’s Father-heart.

Whatever our experience of earthly fathers, however, God has made it possible for us to know Him as that perfect Father who gives good gifts to His children (see James 1:17, Ps 68:5). Moreover, even those who have known the security and provision of a good earthly father realise they have flaws and failings too. God, on the other hand, is all-powerful (so there is no limit to His provision and care for us), all-knowing (so He sees our hearts and loves us, despite all our failures), and good (Ps 119:68).

Our connection to God the Father comes through new birth and through adoption (see Rom 8:5). As we dwell on the revelation of God as Father in the Bible and believe the promises He has made, we can grow into our identity as God’s dearly beloved children. He has chosen us to be holy and blameless in His sight (Eph 1:4).