I first defined God as my Abba as a senior in high school. I was in the middle of an interview for a scholarship when I was asked what love meant to me. I answered with my daddy (I most likely said, Diddy if truth be told). My daddy means love in the way he cared for me and loved me regardless of the world’s standards. In the way he didn’t lose his cool when I wrecked a car, he was just thankful I was alive. In the way he let me curl up on his lap in the recliner after a rough day reminding me boys are goobers and teachers are human. In the way he encouraged me to be independent and to be involved in church. My daddy was love and is love; showing me who God is through the way he has loved me over the years. Knowing my faith and my response the scholarship team asked where God landed in my definition of love.
To which I responded, “He is my Abba who loaned me a daddy to be like Him.”
Abba is translated as daddy, a name reserved for those men who step up to the plate of fatherhood and their children know them as someone they can always trust and love. It’s not a name to be tossed around with ease. For us, as Christ-followers, we cannot call God Abba until we have been adopted by Him.
Romans 8:14-17 says, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
It’s not enough for us to call ourselves sons and daughters of the King unless we have truly accepted Him as our Abba Father. Having grown up with the unconditional love of my daddy and marrying a man who is the same with our children makes it really easy for me to grasp the love of our Abba Father. Because of this, when I think of love, I think of God as Abba and when I think of Abba God, I think of love.
An Abba who doesn’t hold us accountable to world standards, but one who is more concerned with our relationship with Him. An Abba who is thankful we are alive to share His love with others. An Abba who gently and lovingly reminds us we are all created in His image and are all to be loved. An Abba who allows us to stand firmly on His Rock without fear. An Abba who is love.
If your earthly father has left you feeling less than or unworthy or without the greatest value, then step into the arms of our Abba. Allow yourself to be adopted by the immeasurable, unfailing, unconditional love and grace and hope and peace and mercy Abba gives to His children. Only He can fill that void and only then will you truly understand the meaning of love.