It is no great secret that children learn from their parents and imitate them. I would like to say that they learn from our mistakes, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, they learn to repeat our mistakes. Many times, we can observe generations making the same mistakes over the years, and it seems that the young ones have little choice but to follow the standards set before them. What can be done to break the cycle?
So we shrug our shoulders and claim the old adages…
- The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
- Cut from the same cloth.
- A chip off the old block.
- Like father, like son; like mother, like daughter.
I feel helpless against the onslaught of this singular idea – that we are destined to repeat the same mistakes of our fathers.
What if there is a way out, a way of transformation by adoption?
When each of us are born, we are raised by individuals who are human and sinful – no matter how good they might seem. And so, the cycle of life repeats itself as we grow to become like our parents (who became like their parents)… EXCEPT for adoption by God.
When I gave up living my own way and surrendered to God’s will for my life… when I accepted Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for my own sins, I became a child of God through adoption.*
Now, God is my Father and He has given me the gift of the Holy Spirit in order to transform and change me to be more like Him.
Instead of being obligated to follow in the sinful patterns of my earthly ancestors, I have been liberated to live in righteousness as my Father in heaven does.
Those lifestyles and choices that seemed to hold me tightly in their grip are loosened and I am free to be the child of God that He has called me to be.
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. (Romans 8:12-14, NLT)
The Father Heart of God is a phrase that I have been pondering over the last few days.
God is a father.
He is the best father.
He is a perfect father.
He has no flaws, no shortcomings. He listens, encourages, protects, disciplines, challenges, steers, and loves His children. His heart is FOR, not against them. No matter your or my experience with our biological father figure, God is 1000x better. He is the model for the perfect father. And He longs to fill that role and place in each of our hearts.
To those of you who doubt the goodness of God as a father, I encourage you to meditate on these Scriptures:
- A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. (Psalm 68:5)
- As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. (Psalm 103:13)
- …And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6b)
- Doubtless You are our Father, though Abraham was ignorant of us, and Israel does not acknowledge us. You, O Lord, are our Father; our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name. (Isaiah 63:16)
- But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)
- Will you not from this time cry to Me, ‘My Father, You are the guide of my youth?’ (Jeremiah 3:4)
- …For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. (Matthew 6:8b)
- If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11)
- …One is your Father, He who is in heaven. (Matthew 23:9b)
- For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
- Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. (1 Corinthians 8:6)
- “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,” says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:18)
- And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6)
- Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)
- Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. (1 John 3:1)
Whatever your earthly heritage looks like, God wants to write a new story in your life.
When we become a part of His family, He enables us to live excellently in that new narrative!
Now we can rejoice in these adages…
- The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
- Like Father, like son/daughter.
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. (Ephesians 5:1)
Isn’t God good? He lets us come to Him as children and approach Him as a Father. What an intimate relationship that He desires with us! He provides freedom from our past and hope in our new life with Him. He gives us the gift of transformation by adoption!
Grace and peace!
– Alex ✌️
*If you feel that you do not have this hope that I speak of, that you don’t know what this life is all about or what you were created for, or if you simply want to dialogue more about it, please send me a comment or an email (see the contact page on the main menu). I’d love to chat with you!
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