A Good Father

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name. . .

I grew up in a milieu of sexism, with the background of the Women's Movement. (Not that either are gone.) I believe that women and men can be equally capable of doing most anything.

But I do not flinch at calling God "Father." I don't consider it sexist or biased or male-dominated. You may think it's easy because of my religious views, but I have had to search through to get where I am. Plenty of people of various religious stripes have problems with calling God "Father." They remember a father that was forceful, cruel or absent. They equate that word with sadness, pain or shame. Should they be made to call their God "Father" when they received such trauma? Some might say "How can he make me call him Father, when saying that word only evokes pain for me?" Some would say that God is neither woman nor man. . .that as spirit, as tenderness, God could and should be called "Mother." Wouldn't He understand?

I don't know why God says to say "Our Father." But for all of us who had difficult fathers, do we not know that a Father is supposed to be kind, loving, protective? Isn't that understanding deep in our souls? So, even if we had a tough dad, we know what the ideal dad is supposed to be. If we had a tough dad, it can be hard to really trust in God, a God that asks to be called Father.

Maybe instead of having a world-perspective, we should have a Heaven-perspective. Instead of putting the qualities of our earthly father onto the Heavenly Father, we should think on Him as the Perfect Father. . . the Father we never had, but now have. . . forever.


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