Fatherhood: Making daddy proud

First Byline: 
Ashley Howell-Religion Columnist

It's a girl! I recently became the proud papa of a gorgeous little baby. Being a first-time father, I can finally start to understand a little of what it means to be a parent. It is interesting, then, to realize that God refers to Himself as our Father.
In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus teaches us to address God as "Our Father." Also, in Mark 14:36, while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prays to "Abba, Father." It is noteworthy that the Aramaic term Abba is used by Jesus in this passage. Abba would have been the most intimate term for Father, equivalent to a child's first word for "Daddy." The use of this word helps us to understand the kind of relationship that God desires with us.
The same phrase, "Abba, Father," is also used by the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:15 and again in Galatians 4:6. In these passages, we learn that we, as Christians, are adopted into the family of God. In fact, Galatians specifically contrasts being a child of God with being a slave of God! Although we should submit ourselves as servants of God, He blesses us abundantly as His own children! God is not content to make us merely servants and citizens of His Kingdom, He actually makes us a part of His Family!
Knowing that God is our Heavenly Father, we can proudly cry out, "Abba, Father!" Let's make our Daddy proud as we strive to serve Him.
Ashley Howell is the pastor of Hilda Southern Methodist Church.