I’ve learned so much about God as Father from simply being a father myself. Now I will say that the Fatherly imagery in the bible instructs us that God is far more than simply a warm, loving, delighted parent (Ancient Near Eastern “father” imagery refers to a Sovereign King), but then again, He is not less than that.
Because a Christian is saved by grace and not anything that he does (Eph 2:8-9), he/she has different motivations to live out his/her faith than a Muslim, a Jew, or “Oprah-ite.” Though motivations differ from the latter (where he/she does good deeds TO get in good with God), such are actually far more numerous for the former. Motivation for a radically sacrificial life comes from the knowledge one is already saved, from the fact that good works have been prepared in advanced for Christians to do, that sin is no longer their master, etc…..
But I’ve really begun to experience a new motivation. There’s nothing quite like watching your child grow. From laying down like a blob, to rolling over, to sitting up, and now to crawling. It brings great delight to my heart to see Connar grow.
Now I would still love him just as much if he stopped growing. But when he does grow, develop, and learn, it’s an absolute blast for me as a father. I imagine it brings God the Father great joy to see His children growing/learning/developing. Even in small steps. He still loves us when we stop growing for a time, but if we knew how much joy it brought Him to see His children growing, shouldn’t we then do all that we can to put ourselves in the path of growth: fellowship, worship, sacraments, the bible, prayer?