i think that in order to get the meaning of these terms you have to take them in context of the shabad in question. you can't take Gurbani in pieces, it doesn't make sense if you do.
let's take them one at a time.
first, father as water, from Japji Sahib Salok:
Pavaṇ gurū pāṇī piṯā māṯā ḏẖaraṯ mahaṯ.
Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all.
Ḏivas rāṯ ḏu*ė ḏā*ī ḏā*i*ā kẖėlai sagal jagaṯ.
Day and night are the two nurses, in whose lap all the world is at play.
Cẖang*ā*ī*ā buri*ā*ī*ā vācẖai ḏẖaram haḏūr.
Good deeds and bad deeds-the record is read out in the Presence of the Lord of Dharma.
Karmī āpo āpṇī kė nėṛai kė ḏūr.
According to their own actions, some are drawn closer, and some are driven further away.
Jinī nām ḏẖi*ā*i*ā ga*ė maskaṯ gẖāl.
Those who have meditated on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, and departed after having worked by the sweat of their brows -
Nānak ṯė mukẖ ujlė kėṯī cẖẖutī nāl. ||1||
O Nanak, their faces are radiant in the Court of the Lord, and many are saved along with them! ||1||
what this means:
God has created the earth along with all facilities, day and night, wind and water, etc. for the physical comfort and welfare of the human beings. This provides them the needed environment to perform their responsibilities and practice righteousness. In addition, the Lord has assigned parents to nurse the newcomers (babies) to this world and a guide (Guru, dispenser of divine knowledge) for spiritual guidance.
The stage is thus set for people to benefit from these favors of the Lord. In the end, we all will be judged for the good and bad deeds we do in our life and each will get full and fair justice. Those who love the Lord (follow His will) successfully complete the mission of their lives. They demolish the wall of ignorance (ego) and realize the Lord. Such devotees along with their associates are honored in his court.
Translation of Japji