When we call God our Father, all kinds of images come to mind that come from our family histories. This can complicate our prayer lives. For example, Philip Yancey writes, “A woman I know cringes every time she hears someone address God as Father in prayer because her earthly father’s abuse forever spoiled that word for her.” I suspect that this is a common problem.
For those of us who have less than positive images of father, George MacDonald offers this advice: “You must interpret the word by all that you have missed in life.” I think I like that. He is not the father we had. He is the Father we always longed for.