I am God's Daughter

Just Like Him

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children… Ephesians 5:1

My daughter is a lot like me. She has a vivacious imagination, can’t resist a good story, and has an affinity for words. She also happens to look the most like me of any of my four children.

Much of that is just genetics. And chance. But some of it—well, she learned it from me. See, all of my kids love a good book. Because I’ve been reading to them ever since they lay in my arms in a rocking chair. They all have a pretty wide vocabulary. We like etymology around here. And telling stories? Favorite pastime. SJ (my daughter) takes it to a whole new level, though. She’s got her little creations written down, and new ones are added to her journal daily (I have to say, they’re pretty good, too).

That practice was definitely learned. When my kids catch me on the computer, their first question isn’t “what game are you playing?” or, “what are you looking up?” It’s “are you writing, Mom?” And the answer is usually “yes.”

SJ is imitating me. And I have to admit, I rather like it. Which is why, when I read Ephesians 5:1, I think to myself, “He must like it an awful lot when I copy Him.” Shows that I love Him, that I admire Him and want to be just like Him. Maybe, when I’m doing a good job of that imitation, it even makes Him proud.

Because I think He’d like it a whole bunch if His daughter turned out to be like Him.

I am God's Daughter

Reflecting my Father

But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High.  For he is gracious to the ungrateful and evil.  Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:35-36 HCSB

“But I don’t want to go.” My son slunk down in the recliner, arm crossed, frowning.

“You’ll go, and you’ll act right.” My husband didn’t let up. “Because do you know who you are representing when you are there?” 

Our son sighed and said, “You.”

Indeed.  Everywhere my children go, they represent their father.  Their behavior reflects on him. And because my husband is a decent, upright guy, he expects his children to act the same.  He wants them to act the way he does.

God expects nothing less of me, his daughter. In fact, in this verse He tells me exactly the godly qualities he wants me to copy.

He tells me he wants me to love my enemies, because that’s what he did.  Remember Jesus on the cross?  Remember these words: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  If He can forgive those who are torturing Him to literal death, He expects me, His daughter, to forgive those who have slighted or insulted me.

He expects me to lend, expecting nothing in return. Since I’ve been back in the States, this one isn’t such a big deal.  No one but my kids has come to me for money.  But as an American living in a Third World country?  Wow, this was almost an every-day issue, and being asked for money got very old very quickly.  We were, of course, discerning in who we helped, but there was more than one time I wished this particular verse was just not in the Bible.  But it is.  And God expects his daughter to obey it.

God also wants me, his daughter, to be gracious to the ungrateful and evil, because He is.  Have you ever had to deal with a truly ungrateful person? I have.  When I have gone out of my way to help someone, and get no response or even a negative response, that just pushes the cheese right off my cracker. But God is gracious to those kinds of folks every day.  Can you see me, slinking down in my recliner? If I am to truly reflect my Father, I will treat those people with grace – unmerited favor.

And, God wants me, his daughter, to be merciful, for no other reason than the fact that He is merciful. When my own daughter comes to me in tears, confessing a sin to me, I give her mercy instead of a stern lecture. That’s easy, because I adore her. But God also expects me to be merciful to people I don’t like, the annoying people, the ungrateful people, the evil people.

And if I do all these things? My “reward will be great, and I will be a daughter of the Most High.”

This verse seems to indicate that these things are what make me God’s daughter, because they are the outward signs of my inward change. 

I am God's Daughter

Our Father . . .

“Pray, then, in this way: “Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” ~Matt. 6:9, NASB

I call my dad ‘dad.’ Not ‘Greg.’ Not ‘Mr.’ Not even ‘sir,’ (but that may be because we didn’t grow up military). He’s my dad—and that name designates a special relationship between us. It means that we are related—that he has claimed me as his child. It means that I can approach him with questions and needs and joys and sorrows in a way that I can’t or don’t approach anyone else. No one can replace him, and I won’t ever call anyone else ‘dad.’

Isn’t it interesting that when Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, he began with the following: ‘Our Father . . .”? Of all the titles that could rightfully be assigned to God – ‘Master,’ ‘Creator,’ ‘King’ –Jesus instructed us to use ‘Father.’ So revealing, isn’t it? When the writer of Hebrews penned the words “let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace,” I can’t help but wonder if part of his mind reflected on Christ’s lesson in prayer. Jesus says with the opening of the Lord’s Prayer, “you have a Father. He loves you. He knows you. And He is good. Approach Him—with honor, yes—but with the knowledge that He has claimed you as His child. So address Him as your Father.”

What an amazing privilege! I can go before the God of the Universe and call Him ‘Father.’ He has bestowed upon me that right because He made me His child.

I am God's Daughter

A Daughter’s Discipline

And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly, or faint when you are reproved by Him; for the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and punishes every son whom he receives. Endure it as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there whom a father does not discipline?  But if you are without discipline – which all receive – then you are illegitimate children and not sons.  Furthermore, we had natural fathers discipline us, and we respected the.  Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live?  For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but He does it for our benefit, so that we can share His holiness.  No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:4-11

“If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t care how you acted and I wouldn’t punish you,” I told my son.  He glared at me with hot eyes, shaking his head in bewilderment. But even as I said the words, I didn’t really expect him to understand them.  Not yet.  Not until he is a daddy himself, with the task of raising his own son into a godly man.  Then he’ll get it.  Then he’ll understand that rules are given not to steal pleasure, but to protect from harm.  Then he’ll realize that punishment is doled out to shape a child into a better person, not to beat him down.  But not just yet.

This week, I’ve been on the receiving end of some discipline from God.  It has not been fun.  I really don’t like facing the sin he’s shown me, and I really don’t like dealing with the consequences of that sin. I’ve found myself acting out my son’s role in this drama, glaring at God and feeling like he was just really mean.

But no.  I am his beloved daughter. And he is disciplining me because he loves me and has better plans for me than I have for myself.  He knows I need some shaping, a bit of pruning, and a good work out to become the woman I need to be to accomplish them.

God is not vindictive.  He is my loving father.  Right now, I am going through a painful time.  Indeed, “no discipline seems enjoyable.”  But, if I am an attentive daughter, if I will repent, change my ways, see it as a training time, then later I will see the “fruit of peace and righteousness” in my life.

I’ve seen it before on other issues.  I’ll see it this time, too.

Because God loves me.  I am, after all, his cherished daughter. 

I am God's Daughter

I am God’s Daughter: A Joint Post

All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out “Abba, Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ – seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:14-17 HCSB

From Susan

Math was a complete mystery to me as a kid. A=Bx3/2.64? Huh? My dad was a brilliant electrical engineer. While I did not inherit is math prowess, I had something better – the man himself. He would return from a full day of work and forego the comfort of his armchair to sit at the kitchen table and tutor me. And when I wept in frustration? He comforted, and not just about math. I cried on my father about boyfriends, social slights, which college to choose and which jobs to take. In every case, he was patient and gave me sound advice. When I got my driver’s license and promptly wrecked the car, the first person I wanted to call was Daddy, because I was completely confident I’d find not fury but compassion.

Now contrast that with the picture of a slave. Her master gives her tasks and rules, not for her own benefit, but for her master’s. And she does them trembling, knowing that if she does not, the whip awaits.

These verses tell me I am God’s daughter, not His slave. He wants me to know that, deep in my bones, my spirit testifying with the Holy Spirit. When I make a wreck of something in my life, I can have complete confidence that if I take it God, I’ll find compassion and not fury. I can be assured that the tasks and rules God has given me are for my own good, not simply for His comfort and pleasure. God is my patient tutor, helping me “grow up” to be more like him, even while I cry about it. God is my Daddy. I am his daughter. What does that mean to you?

From Jen

Quite a contradiction, isn’t it? This post about being a daughter, not a slave on a blog entitled “the free slave.”

It seems that our God has a thing for contradictions, though. Three in One? The least shall be the greatest? The virgin birth? The King of the universe put to death on the cross?

And the free slave. Daughter of that risen King. Indeed, what does this mean?

To me, it means I kneel before Him, taking the humble position of a slave, and He lifts me up, graciously calling me ‘beloved.’ It means that I am no longer afraid of the wrath that abides on sinners, because he has adopted me and given me a spirit that cries to him ‘Daddy!’

Like Susan, I have a close relationship with my earthly dad. He’s been my hero since he taught me how to play catch—so long ago I can’t remember how old I was. When I was lost, my daddy came to find me. When I was in trouble, I knew I could go to him. When I was on the verge of making a bad decision, he faithfully pointed out the better path. I now tell my daughters “there wasn’t any way I would have married your daddy if mine hadn’t approved.” He was and is still that important.

Some, however, don’t share this connection with their dads. It’s hard to relate to a good Heavenly Father when the earthly one wasn’t much to look up to. But this word in Romans—this ‘abba’—it is the name for God the Father that we see Jesus using in his most soul-wrenching prayer. In that scene we at once see the love of the Son for His father, His trust, and His submission.

Love. Trust. Submission.  All because I get to call God “Abba.” Daddy.