May 2nd, 2024.

Years ago, sitting at a small Bible study with a group of four other men, an older pastor joined us. As young husbands and fathers, he mentored us on the road ahead for us. There would be valley moments and times when we would stand at the top of the mountain. The path we were on would come with many ups and downs. Years later, I can tell you that what he foreshadowed for us was accurate and true.

There’s one thing that stands out from that conversation more than anything else, and it is this. “Remember, guys, that you are the adopted sons of God. Your Father loves and cares for you and your family like no other. You belong to Him and His family, and He will provide everything you need for this journey. You have sonship.

Matthew 5:9 calls us sons…

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Romans 8:15 speaks to our adoption…

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

When we call on the name of Jesus for our salvation, we receive this sonship. The challenge, then, is whether or not we accept that sonship.

When we stand in the role of a son, we immediately connect that back to our experiences with our earthly fathers. I’ve sat in enough men’s Bible studies now to know that our experiences with our dads have all been very different. Some of us had amazing Christian fathers who led by example, loved our mothers, and showed us regularly how much they loved us. Others had fathers who were abusive, harsh, and unloving – or they were busy, focused on work, and disconnected from our families.

When we base our understanding of sonship on our relationship with our dads, it can create barriers to receiving God’s love as a man. My experience mirrors this as I tried to understand God’s love through my dad. My father was a good man who loved me, but rarely said or expressed it. I knew he loved me but rarely heard it, and he definitely held back his expression of that love as I grew up and became a man. As a business owner and someone very involved in our community, he often felt too busy for me. Based on that experience, I thought God must love me as a son in that same way.

I didn’t grasp this concept of sonship until I had my own kids. Something clicked for me the moment I held my twins for the first time. Looking into their eyes, I knew there was nothing I wouldn’t do for them and that I’d hold nothing back from them without a good reason. I’d sacrifice for them, provide for them, and if called to, I’d die for them. They are my children, and I am their father… Like I am God’s child, and He is my Father.

Seeing fatherhood through my own children, the concept of sonship became very clear… I began to see God, my Father, through a different lens. His love for me became obvious, and I realized that He wanted me to come to him with my challenges and struggles, successes and failures… all of it. Just like I found myself waiting for my kids to come to me, He was waiting for me to come to Him.

That’s sonship, and having opened myself up to that relationship with my heavenly Father, my life has changed. Even as I write this today, I find myself thankful for that moment so many years ago when this concept of sonship was shared with me… and I’m even more grateful for a Father who loves me that much.

Today, step into your role as a son. Accepting Christ, you’ve been adopted. Now, let God show you how much your heavenly Father loves you.

John Gamades, Author of WAR: A Tactical Guide for Christian Men