Father, Daddy, or Both?

Father or Daddy

Is there a difference between a father and a daddy?

Almost any man can be a father. It’s a biological process requiring the fertilization of an ovum. But a dad? That can be another matter.

God’s Word tells us the position of a father demands honor and respect. Even if the person is loving but distant. Or an absentee father. An abusive father. A neglectful father. Sometimes healthy boundaries are necessary because the individual is not trustworthy, but we are still called to honor the role.

But there’s another layer to fatherhood. There are fathers…and there are daddies.

Daddies are accessible. Caring. They want the best for you…always. Daddies aren’t perfect, but they are motivated by sacrificial love. They make mistakes, but they aren’t afraid to ask for forgiveness.

Their hearts are invested in their children. Daddies listen to what their children say and don’t say. They are their kids’ biggest cheerleaders. Daddies give their children loving discipline to prepare them to spread their wings and fly to new heights.

Even if a man’s father failed to show him how to be a daddy, every man has the perfect Father as a role model. You know what’s coming, don’t you?

God is both our Father and our Daddy.

Jesus called God Father. But He also called God Abba – the Aramaic word for Daddy.

Three times in the New Testament, Jesus called God Abba, Father.

“‘Abba, Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.’”

This combination of the two names reflected God’s role as both sovereign Father and intimate Daddy of Jesus…and of every Christian.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15) is a wonderful illustration of this dual perspective on the fatherhood of God.

In New Testament times, it was considered humiliating for a father to be seen running in public. Especially so for him to be seen running to a rebellious son. Yet in this parable, Jesus used the image of a father running to welcome his son (Luke 15:20) as a picture of how our Abba Father welcomes us into intimate relationship with him despite our own rebellion.

Honor your father this Father’s Day. Enjoy your daddy this Father’s Day. Most of all, regardless of how wonderful or disappointing your earthly father is or was, remember that, by faith in Christ, your heavenly Father is also your Abba and you are His precious child.

As you celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, what are you most thankful for in your earthly father? What are you most thankful for in your heavenly Father?

Ava Pennington

After a 20-year corporate career, Ava Pennington is thoroughly enjoying her second career as an author, teacher, and speaker. Her book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is published by Revell Books and endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precepts Ministries. Ava has also written for numerous magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse. Her work has been published in 30+ anthologies, including 25 Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Ava also teaches a weekly Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class. When she’s not writing and teaching, Ava enjoys playing with her mischievous 5-year-old Boxers, Duke & Daisy. For more information, visit www.AvaWrites.com.

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