What is it Like to Look to God as a Father to Our Children 

The promise that God is a Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5) became my anchor. After the death of my husband, I counted on Him to assume that position. I looked to God as my Husband and leaned on Him as the Father to my children. My focus was on this new family unit. In the absence of Dad, we experienced the presence of God. He was their covering (Psalm 91), protector (Proverbs 23:10-11), provider (Matthew 7:11), an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1), heard their cries (Exodus 22:22), was my Defender (Psalm 68:5), would turn what was meant for evil into good (Genesis 50:20), and wrote the story of our lives in a book before time began (Psalm 139:16).

The attributes of God were of great comfort to me. Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth stepped in as the Father to my children. I was confident that He was watching over them and would keep His promises. I was comforted knowing that He is the God who sees (Genesis 16:13) and is omniscient, omnipresent, and all-powerful. There were many nights that I cried into my pillow praying for God to care for my children in ways that I could not, and He did. And, I truly believed that if my children looked to God as their Father, they would be more than okay.

When my youngest graduated from high school, we hosted a “Village Appreciation” celebration and we invited everyone who played a part in helping me raise my children. It was such a special time for my family to say thank you to the people that God used as a vessel for His fathering.

I asked each one of them to share just one thing that stands out about how God fathered them, and here were their responses:

Abi (age 35, married, mother of six kids: “Random” acts of intentionality from people who were not obligated to give me their time. He sent a mentor to meet with me in college at a pivotal time when I needed mentoring. I saw this as God stepping in as Father.

Kayla (age 33, married, mother of eight kids): “Random” meaningful acts of kindness that could only be attributed to God, provision for a variety of needs, mentors, and role models.

Brandon (age 32, married, dad of two): He fathered me through coaches and mentors who took a vested interest in my growth, which I believe was God-ordained

Christieanna (age 30, newly married): Meeting practical needs like camp and sports scholarships, money towards Gap years and other mission trips, a car in 2017, many pairs of shoes, mentors, providing jobs and ways to make money, a second car in 2021, people to go on adventures and vacations with. Emotional support – always fathering me by giving me space and areas to process and see Him working whether that was hiking, walking, taking photos, journaling, drawing, or something of that matter. And spiritually – I think the biggest ways He’s done this was through worship, other people, and reading. I always feel His presence worshiping and it’s one of my favorite spiritual “acts.” I know a part of me loves worshiping so much because Daddy did as well. God has fathered me spiritually through mentors, my mom, siblings, teachers in college, coaches, and some really solid pastors I’ve had along the way too. 

Isaac (age 29, single): Mentors teaching practical “man-stuff” and discipling spiritually.

Evan (age 27,  married, expecting): God provided mentors, provision, and parenting led by divine authority.

Amy (age 26, married): Meeting practical needs – we never went hungry or without basic necessities! Camp scholarships, Liberty University scholarships, and mission trips paid in full. Emotional support – by providing father figures throughout my life. Spiritual support  – salvation! I learned at a young age what it meant to have God as Father

Micah (age 25, married): Practical support – my father-in-law doing things with me like a father and son would. Spiritual support – mentors walking alongside me and discipling me.

To the fatherless, God promises to be a Father (Psalm 68:5). It is my prayer that you would also look to Him in this way and experience His fathering presence.