Father’s Tender Love


John 16:27 For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.

The Greek word for love in this verse is Phileo.  The Greek word most commonly used for God’s love in the New Testament is Agape (ex. Galatians 2:20).  In this word Phileo there is the expression of tenderness.  Jesus demonstrated this tenderness with children and with sinners receiving mercy and grace and most obviously with John laying his head on His bosom (John 13:23).

In John 16:27 Jesus tells us the Father tenderly loves us because we have loved Jesus and believed that He came from the Father.  This tender love has been revealed and expressed to me by both Jesus and Father God.  I understand it.  I have seen it most clearly in the Father’s loving smile.

Though Jesus has this kind of love for us in His heart, agape love is the highest expression of love.  This is the kind of love that gives its life for another.  This is self-sacrificial love.  Jesus died to save us.

All forms of love are come from God and are necessary for our total well-being.  Agape love is necessary for our salvation and physical healing.  Phileo love is necessary for healing of our emotional pain and setting straight our thoughts about God’s acceptance of us and His personal love and care for each one of us.  We need Phileo love.  We need it most surely from God.  Yet He designed us to receive it first from our parents.

Jesus told me that although He has this tender affectionate love in His heart for each of us, He constantly referred me to the Father as the source of this love.  Jesus gives us this love to prepare us to trust Him when He introduces us to our Father in Heaven.  God chose to call Him Father specifically because of what that means to us.  How important is a father to a child?  How many children never become secure in the love of their natural father?  How many people develop coping skills and self defense apart from God because they never felt safe and secure in the homes of their fathers?

When Jesus introduces us to our Father in Heaven there are all kinds of heart issues that come up.  Emotions and thoughts that are good and some that are bad.  Hurts and wounds of the heart, bad memories and wrong thoughts.  Blessings received and positive events help us to come to God as Father.  But for most the fear of God that makes us afraid to come to Him outweighs the good.  We learned that fear as children.  One Christian psychologist says it takes 40 positive expressions of love to outweigh one negative word from a parent.

Because of these things the word “father” brings up all the positive and all the negative.  God the Father, knowing the nature of these relationships uses the word “father” for Himself so when we think of “God the Father” all the positive and negative come to the surface.  He knows what it will take to comfort and heal our hearts.  Because emotional issues are so strong, Jesus carefully shows us we can trust Him.  Then when we are finally ready to open our hearts to our Father in Heaven, Jesus introduces us to Him.  It is then He reveals the tenderness of His love and draws us close enough so we can see, “This is what I’ve always wanted.  This is what I have looked for and it was always denied.  Is it really for me now?”

Psalms 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.

It is the Father’s will to heal you of every dark pain that grips your heart because of your parents’ failures.  As you trust Him, forgive them.  Ask God to give you a heart open to them and a mind to honor them, so you can also become open to receive the tender warm love of your Father in Heaven.  The love you have been waiting for is real and is here now in the Heart of Your Father in Heaven.  Come and receive freely.

The Father is the person in the Godhead Who comforts the loss and/or lack of tender affectionate love and fully meets this need for those who love Jesus and trust the love of the Father by choice.


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