What does the Bible say about the Father’s love?
“When the apostle Paul said, “We cry out, ‘Abba, Father,’” what did he mean? Sometimes, we think of God as our creator and righteous judge. But, for some of us, it’s hard to grasp our relationship of intimacy with God as our loving Father.”
“As we comprehend the Father’s love for Jesus the Son, we can begin to fathom the depths of the Father’s love for us. We need to realize that God is a good Father, and sometimes that’s hard to do if our earthly fathers were deeply flawed. Perceiving God’s goodness – toward us – and the depths of His love are incredibly healing. Appreciating our privileges and responsibilities as children of God brings us deeper into our relationship with God and clarifies our role in life.”
“Understanding the biblical role of an earthly father helps us grasp God’s relationship with us as our heavenly Father. We can rest in His love.”
“There is no evil that the father’s love cannot pardon and cover, there is no sin that is a match for his grace.” Timothy Keller
Christian quotes about the Father’s love
“God’s solution to the problem of evil is his Son Jesus Christ. The Father’s love sent his Son to die for us to defeat the power of evil in human nature: that’s the heart of the Christian story.” Peter Kreeft
“Satan is ever seeking to inject that poison into our hearts to distrust God’s goodness – especially in connection with his commandments. That is what really lies behind all evil, lusting and disobedience. A discontent with our position and portion, a craving from something which God has wisely held from us. Reject any suggestion that God is unduly severe with you. Resist with the utmost abhorrence anything that causes you to doubt God’s love and his lovingkindness toward you. Allow nothing to make you question the Father’s love for his child.” A.W. Pink
“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” Billy Graham
The Father’s love for the Son
As Jesus came up from the water at His baptism, a voice from heaven declared,
- “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)
Toward the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, God the Father repeated these words at Jesus’ transfiguration:
- “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5)
God was introducing His precious Son to the world! He called Jesus His beloved. As Jesus was part of the Godhead from infinity, the reciprocal love between Jesus and His Father was the first love in existence.
- “. . . for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).
God loved the Son so much that He gave Jesus everything and revealed everything He did to Him.
- “The Father loves the Son and has entrusted all things to His hand” (John 3:35).
- “For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing” (John 5:20).
Jesus’ love for us mirrors the Father’s love for Him.
- “Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; remain in My love” (John 15:9)..
1. Matthew 3:16-17 (NIV) “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
2. Matthew 17:5 (NKJV) “While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
3. John 3:35 “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.”
4. Hebrews 1:8 “But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.”
5. John 15:9 “Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; remain in My love.”
6. John 17:23 “I in them and You in Me–that they may be perfectly united, so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them just as You have loved Me.”
7. John 17:26 “And I have made Your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love You have for Me may be in them, and I in them.”
8. John 5:20 “For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.”
9. 2 Peter 1:17 “For He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
10. Matthew 12:18 “Here is My Servant, whom I have chosen, My beloved, in whom My soul delights. I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will proclaim justice to the nations.”
11. Mark 9:7 “Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him!”
12. Luke 3:22 “and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in a bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
The Father’s love for us
- “In love He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Ephesians 1:4-5).
- “Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)
If you have been blessed to become a parent, you probably remember the first time you held your child. You instantly fell head-over-heels in love with that tiny bundle – a love that you didn’t realize you were capable of. That baby didn’t do anything to earn your love. You loved him or her unconditionally and fiercely.
God loved us even before we became part of His family. He predestined us in love. And He loves as His children fully, unconditionally, and fiercely. He loves us just as He loves Jesus.
- “I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one— I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfectly united, so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them just as You have loved Me.” (John 17:22-23)
It’s one thing to understand with our minds that God is our loving heavenly Father and has made us His children. What’s sometimes tricky is internalizing this truth. Why? We may feel unworthy of sonship and unworthy of His love. We might feel like we need to earn His love somehow. We might feel we need to be in control rather than trusting Him to be our Father. When we attempt to operate in our own strength rather than seeking our Heavenly Father’s counsel, we are losing out on the blessings of His loving guidance. We are operating as orphans, not children of God.
13. Ephesians 1:4-5 “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
14. 1 John 4:16 (NLT) “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.”
15. 1 John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
16. 1 John 4:12 “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is perfected in us.”
17. John 13:34 “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also must love one another.”
18. 1 John 4:9 “This is how God’s love was revealed among us: God sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.”
19. Romans 13:10 “Love does no wrong to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
20. John 17:22-23 “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
21. 1 John 4:10 “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
22. Hosea 3:1 (ESV) “And the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.”
23. Ephesians 5:2 “and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
24. 1 John 3:1 “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
25. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
26. Genesis 22:2 “Take your son,” God said, “your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. Offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”
God is a good Father
Sometimes we tend to think of God as having the same sort of character as our earthly fathers. Some of us have been blessed to have wonderful, attentive, and godly fathers, but others have not. So, those whose fathers were never around much or inattentive might think of God as distant and detached. Those with fathers who were moody, irritable, irrational, and harsh might think of God as having these characteristics. It might be difficult to conceive of how deep and wide and boundless the Father’s love is. It might be hard to comprehend that God is a GOOD father and is for us, not against us.
If this is your experience, you must allow the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to heal and correct your mindset. Read and meditate on the Scriptures that speak of the goodness of God and ask God to give you a true understanding that He is a good Father.
- “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion. . . For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His loving devotion for those who fear Him. . . As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103:8, 11, 13)
- “So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11)
- “You are good, and You do what is good; teach me Your statutes.” (Psalm 119:68)
- “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
- “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32)
27. Psalm 103:8 “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”
28. Numbers 14:18 “The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in loving devotion, forgiving iniquity and transgression. Yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished; He will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon their children to the third and fourth generation.”
29. Psalm 62:12 “and loving devotion to You, O Lord. For You will repay each man according to his deeds.”
30. 1 John 3:1 – “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
31. Exodus 34:6 “Then the LORD passed in front of Moses and called out: “The LORD, the LORD God, is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion and faithfulness.”
32. Psalm 68:5 (KJV) “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.”
33. Psalm 119:68 “You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.”
34. Psalm 86:5 “For You, O Lord, are kind and forgiving, rich in loving devotion to all who call on You.”
35. Isaiah 64:8 “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
36. Psalm 100:5 “For the LORD is good, and His loving devotion endures forever; His faithfulness continues to all generations.”
37. Luke 18:18-19 (NKJV) Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.
38. Romans 8:31-32 “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
39. 1 Corinthians 8:6 – “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom all things are and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are and through whom we exist.”
40. 1 Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
41. John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
How deep is the Father’s love?
The Father deeply loves all humanity, but especially those who have put their faith in Him and been adopted as His sons and daughters. Our Heavenly Father’s deep love for us is the core message of the entire Bible. The Father’s love for us is so deep that it can’t be measured. He loved us so deeply that even when we were rebelling against Him, He gave His only begotten Son Jesus to die for us. He did this so that we could become His adopted sons. He loves us unconditionally and sacrificially.
- “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
42. Ephesians 3:17-19 “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
43. 1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
44. 1 John 4:10 “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
45. Romans 5:8 “But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
46. “Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.”
47. 2 Corinthians 6:18 “And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
What does it mean that we are children of God?
- “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).
- “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons and daughters of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:14-17).
There’s a lot to unpack here. First, when we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are born again into the family of God. We become God’s children, and the Holy Spirit instantly indwells us, guiding and teaching us.
The Bible says that we cry out, “Abba, Father!” Abba means “Daddy!” It’s what a child calls their father – a title of love and trust.
If we are children of God, then we are fellow heirs with Christ. We instantly become royalty, and we are given grace and privilege. God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6).
Yet, as children of God, we suffer with Jesus. This differs from the “ordinary” suffering that everyone endures, whether believers or not – things like sickness, loss, and hurt feelings. Suffering with Christ means our suffering arises from our union with Him, the pressures and persecution because of our faith. It’s the kind of suffering the apostles endured when they were beaten and martyred for their faith. It’s the kind of suffering Christians in Muslim and communist lands endure today. And, as our own world turns upside down, it’s the kind of suffering coming our way because of our faith.
48. John 1:12-13 “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
49. Galatians 3:26 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
50. Romans 8:14 “All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons.”
51. Galatians 4:7 “Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
52. Romans 8:16 (ESV) “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”
53. Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
What is the biblical role of a father?
We often think of the role of mothers in child rearing, but biblically, God put fathers in charge, especially in the realm of the children’s spiritual nurture.
- “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
- “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. And you shall repeat them diligently to your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house, when you walk on the road, when you lie down, and when you get up (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
Notice that the Deuteronomy passage here assumes the father is actively present with his children and engaging with them. The father can’t teach his kids if he isn’t spending time with them and talking with them.
The Ephesians passage mentions not provoking children to anger. How would a father do that? Being overly harsh or unreasonable would provoke most children to anger. So would living a reckless and stupid life – like drinking too much, cheating on their mother, or constantly getting fired from jobs –things that destabilize the children’s lives. Fathers need to discipline their children, but it needs to be reasonable and loving. (Proverbs 3:11-12, 13:24)
The best way for a father to achieve the role of bringing up his children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord is to model a life that reflects God.
A second vital role of fathers is providing for their families.
- “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).
The context here goes beyond providing for one’s wife and children, but also meeting the financial needs of one’s widowed mother. The father’s role is to provide for his family’s physical needs. In the Lord’s prayer, we ask our heavenly Father to “give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). The earthly father models our heavenly Father by providing a home, food, and clothing. (Matthew 7:9-11).
A third role of a father is protector, modeling our heavenly Father’s protection from evil (Matthew 6:13). A loving father protects his children from physical threats. He also protects them from engaging in activities that can harm them psychologically and spiritually. For instance, he monitors what they’re watching on TV, what they’re doing on social media, what they’re reading, and who they’re hanging out with.
Another crucial role of a father is interceding for his children. The man Job was a prayer warrior for his children – even when they were adults (Job 1:4-5).
54. Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
55. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
56. 1 Timothy 5:8 “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
57. Hebrews 12:6 “because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
58. 1 Chronicles 29:19 “And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.”
59. Job 1:4-5 “His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.”
60. Proverbs 3:11-12 “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”
What is the importance of a father’s love?
A father who loves his kids enables them to thrive in life. Children who receive affection from their fathers are happier throughout their lives and have better self-esteem. Children assured of their fathers’ love develop healthy relationships with others and have fewer behavior problems. Fathers who regularly play with their children – who sit down and play board games with them or go outside to play ball – these kids are more emotionally stable throughout their lives. They have more resilience to frustrations and stress, are better at problem-solving, and can adapt to challenging situations.
A good father’s love models God the Father’s love. If a father fails to do that for his kids – if he’s not involved in their lives, or harsh and critical, or cold and distant – it will be hard for them to comprehend the love of God the Father for them. A good father models our heavenly Father’s love by being faithful, forgiving, honest, humble, kind, patient, sacrificial, and selfless. A good father’s love is unchanging and constant.
61. Proverbs 20:7 “The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him!”
62. Proverbs 23:22 “Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.”
63. Proverbs 14:26 “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.”
64. Luke 15:20 “So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
65. Proverbs 4:1 “Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.”
66. Psalm 34:11 “Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.”
Resting in the Father’s love
God’s love for us isn’t attached to anything we do. It is unconditional.
- “‘For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My favor will not be removed from you, nor will My covenant of peace be shaken,’ says the LORD who has compassion on you” (Isaiah 54:10).
- “I will sing of the loving devotion of the LORD forever; with my mouth I will proclaim Your faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, ‘Lovingkindness will be built up forever; In the heavens You will establish Your faithfulness’” (Psalm 89:1-2).
- “LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes arrogant; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me” (Psalm 131:1-2)
- “In God alone my soul finds rest; my salvation comes from Him” (Psalm 62:1).
- “Consequently, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:9).
When we realize God is our provider, sustainer, guide, and loving Father, it brings us to a place of rest. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world or what difficulties we face – we can rest in our relationship with God. Just like a small child climbs up into his father’s lap to find comfort, guidance, and reassurance, we can do that with our loving heavenly Father.
God is our unshakeable fortress. We can rest as we wait quietly before our Father and hope in Him. We can cease striving and know that He is God.
67. Isaiah 54:10 “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
68. Psalm 89:1-2 “I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. 2 I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.”
69. Psalm 131:1-2 “My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. 2 But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.”
70. Psalm 62:1 “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.”
Because of our Father’s love, we have hope. We can trust Him and pour out our hearts to Him, for He is our refuge and our boundless fountain of love. His precious love is unfailing. He is always good, always ready to forgive, always there when we ask for His help. God is full of compassion, and even when we fail Him, He is patient and merciful. He is for us and not against us. Nothing can separate us from His love.