I never met my biological father.
My mother never married him. The man she did marry knew me since I was born. I was three years old when they wed. My relationship with him grew based on the premise that he was the only father I ever knew; therefore he was my father, not step parent. However, almost 23 years later, he revealed to me that he has one regret.
He never formally adopted me.
This never struck me as significant. I did not need the papers to see him the way I already do. Here I am in my mid-twenties, and my stepfather is asking how I feel about being adopted. It bothered me. Though he was not a “bad” father, my soul has suffered from father wounds that handicap me from experiencing God as a father. I was recently assigned a list of biblical affirmations, identity statements to recite over myself. The first statement being,
“I am God’s child.”
This threadbare statement has become my struggle. So I had to ask Holy Spirit why the role of a child matters:
Having Access to the Father
Being a child of someone gives you intimate approach to him. We can boldly enter presence of God (Heb 10:19) the way a young child enters his parents’ bedroom door at 2am after having a bad dream without fear of ridicule or rejection.
I watched a television show where a wife admits to her husband that she had been keeping a struggle hidden from him. Her excuse was she did not want to “bug him” with her problem. He held her lovingly and explained that when they exchanged vows, for better or for worse, she no longer had the right to withdraw. “You get to bug me.” In the same way, we are called to cast all our cares on Him, for he cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7). Nothing is too big or small for a parent.
Receiving Inheritance from the Father
Being a child also makes us an heir (Gal 4:7). It is more difficult to think of this attribute of being a child when it pertains to our earthly parents because you do not receive an inheritance until your parent dies. So unless you have a complete disregard for personal relationship with your parent, your focus is not what happens after his death. Heavenly Father’s inheritance is different.
First, we have already received a portion of our inheritance. Holy Spirit is a deposit of all that awaits us in heaven. Unlike our earthly possessions, this will never perish, spoil, or fade (1 Peter 1:4). So not only do we have a gift to anticipate, but we have already received it in the here and now to walk in authority on this earth.
As I meditated on the Fatherly affection of God, all that came to mind was Isaiah 43. “But now says the Lord who created you; Fear not, for I have ransomed you, I have called you by name. YOU ARE MINE. (Isa 43:1, emphasis mine). It is that understanding of belonging to him that I don’t quite know to define. We belong to Him; His affection belongs to us.
There’s nothing like the love you experience when you have a child. The amazing thing is, we are given children and love them as they are. God chose us. We are His workmanship created for a purpose (Eph 2:10). He fashioned us and calls what he created “good.”
My conviction stands that I do not need my stepfather to adopt me. We behold only a glimpse of the Father-child illustration by looking at these attributes. Many more remain to be ventured. We have a lifetime and more beyond that to discover God the father.
What attributes of being a child of God speak to you? If you do not know or are longing for more revelation, I challenge you to seek Him and ask. So next time you look in the mirror and declare “I am God’s child” you are open to receive more of the fullness He has in that for you.