In the Bible study we went to on Sunday, the leader had three of us draw in a box what we thought about when he said Winston Churchill. One guy drew him in a hat smoking a cigar, one lady drew the coverage at his funeral, and I drew a Union Jack with a plane dropping bombs and a battleship. The leader drew his own box with Churchill standing with his wife and children, and then wrote a title for each of the four boxes: Statesman, Influential, Wartime Leader, and Family Man, respectively. He asked us which of the pictures was right and the obvious answer is all of them. He wasn’t just a statesman or a family man; he was both, as well as being influential and a wartime leader.
With God, it seems we have a tendency to see Him predominantly in just one or two ways. He’s our Judge or ever-merciful Savior or King. He’s our 911 Call or our Friend or our High Priest. The truth is that He’s all of these and more. He’s also the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, our Provider, and the Creator of the universe.
And all of these can be summed up by saying He’s our Father.
If you’re married, you know that your spouse is more than just a collection of body parts or has more to offer than “furniture mover” or “cook.” There are different sides to them. There’s a business side, a family side, a lover side, a friend side, and more. Different faces, whether slightly different or completely different, come out depending on the situation. We accept that as a given with people, but we often seem to forget it with God.
God plays all of the roles I listed (and you might be able to come up with a few I forgot) at times, but in all of them, He is our loving Father, and it is this primary role that drives the others. If you’re seeking to know Him better, I would suggest getting to know Him as a Father, with an eye toward these other roles as parts of being a Father. Not only does it help in seeing Him as a Father primarily, but it also helps you to understand why He sometimes plays these other roles and why He does. He’s not a Judge so He can smite you; He has enough evidence already against you to justify sending you to Hell. He’s a Judge because He’s perfectly holy, but your sins if you’re a Christian have been paid for by Jesus, so now He’s a Judge of your actions so He can discipline you and keep you from running away from Him.
I don’t know what your relationship with your earthly father is like, but I do know there’s a heavenly Father who died so you can know Him…as He truly is.