Imagine God as a kindly grandfather


Grandparents

I can spot grandparents right away. It’s not the age differential but their interaction with children. Grandparents, especially boomers, tend to look younger than earlier generations and some become grandparents in their forties.

When I see three generations of a family together, it’s easy to see who the parents are. Aside from their appearance, parents and grandparents interact with the children in very different ways.

Parents wear the day-to-day responsibility on their faces and have the countenance of marathon runners mid-way in a race. Grandparents now enjoy the race as spectators. But, they are experienced spectators.

Imagine God the Father as a grandparent. In a sense, He is. His Son Jesus has many children who trust in the Father through Him. Perhaps Jesus is more like an elder brother but you get the idea (Hebrews 2:10 GW).

Relating to God as Father

As a pastor, I’ve known many people who find it hard to relate to God as a father, because of their relationship with their own earthly father. But God has lots of experience as a father — for hundreds of generations. 

He’s the Almighty Father — full of compassion with mercy that endures forever (Ps 136).

I’m a father of four and a grandfather of seven (so far!). Although I liked playing with my children a lot when they were young, playing with grandkids is now a special role for me. I love it, just as so many other grandfathers do!

Photo by Mary Blackwey on Unsplash

Imagine God the Father as a grandparent

I’m sure you’ve seen grandparents fawn over their grandchildren, acting as if they’re the only children on the face of the earth. It’s because the affection and compassion that fills our hearts outweigh our responsibility for them. 

I’ve seen fathers who were strict authoritarians melt into sugary cupcakes as grandpas. The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is something extraordinary and beyond description.

God’s love knows no boundaries

As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him. (Psalm 103:13 GW)

This text uses the word compassion but it could also be translated as mercy. This is the heart of God (Luke 6:36) whose mercies are new every morning (Lam 3:21–23).

Even though God’s mercy is an overflowing reservoir of compassion, it is reserved most for those who recognize Him for who He is — God Almighty. 

The fear of God is not a cowering, anxious dread but a respectful sense of awe and wonder. He is awesome in the truest sense of the word. Fearing God is a secure relationship of trust—a trust in He who is all-powerful.

Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash

God—the Creator and Sustainer of life for all—bends down with a compassionate heart to embrace us, His children. 

He extends this love to whoever will receive it and Him (John 3:16–18). 

He calls us into a very personal relationship—an affectionate embrace for those who see Him as He is — God Almighty and full of mercy.

Not everyone has a living, loving father on earth but everyone can know the Father of all fathers and be His child. 

His love knows no boundaries and His heart is an ever-flowing stream of compassion.


Some questions to ponder

  • What is or was your relationship like with your natural father? How does your relationship with God reflect this?
  • If you have difficulty relating to God as Father, have you expressed this to Him? If not, what would you say and how do you want it to be different?
  • Who has been a good fatherly influence in your life or the life of those you love? Let them know this today.

Finally, if it helps…think of God as a gracious and kind grandfather!

Blessed with a great wife & family, called & gifted—only because of God’s grace— to teach and train leaders, disciple, and write—as a pastor/missionary.
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Blessed with a great wife & family, called & gifted—only because of God’s grace— to teach and train leaders, disciple, and write—as a pastor/missionary.

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