Father figures play such important roles in child development. The presence or absence of them can affect a child’s overall experience here on earth. The quality of such father figures can determine to a large extent, the way the child turns out. That said. Is the idea of your earthly father messing with your knowledge of God? Has he become this person who is never there for you and who never cares about you? Or this person who always punishes you and makes you feel guilty or unworthy? Let’s take a look!
I’ve often had several ideologies of God. Based on certain church teachings, my mind pictured Him as this big tough guy who held a gavel and literally smashed us with it when we were guilty. It was so bad that up until recently when I’d hear the verse in 1Peter 5:6 that says ‘Humble yourself under the mighty hands of God…’ I’d be like nope, I don’t wanna do that. He’ll probably squash me with His mighty hands. And that’s not true!
I came across a Joel Osteen podcast where he was talking about viewing God as your father. For those who have had kind, and loving earthly fathers, it may be easier to view God in that light. To know that He will forgive you and not abandon you when you make mistakes. To know that you can immediately call Him when you’re in trouble. To know that you can tell Him your secrets and not be judged or condemned.
However, if you’ve had really harsh father figures or those who left you feeling unworthy, inadequate, or even traumatized, then the struggle to view God as a sweet loving father may be harder.
We tend to project our earthly experiences in our view of God. The mind wants to fill in the blanks of what we cannot see with that which we may have known or experienced.
So who is Abba to you?
It’s easy to flip through the Old Testament and get caught up in places where God is thundering from the Heavens, or wiping out humans for their constant disobedience. That may be the confirmation you need to say that God is a harsh father. But just read a little more and you’ll see how He always wants to draw His children back to Him. I mean, a God who has the power to create and end life, still wants to build relationships with us! He even sends His son to die for us!
Think about it for a second, if you had legos you were trying to build, and some pieces were refusing to cooperate with you. As a human, you’d probably dump them for newer pieces. But not God. He’s still very much interested in you, even when you’re doing your own thing. There’s nothing broken that He can’t fix.
He’s a father who embodies love. Some refer to this as the maternal side of God (watch the movie, ‘The Shack’ to see this better). He’s loving, trustworthy (He won’t spill your secrets to your mom -LOL), and very dependable. That last part is a big deal for me because I often have moments where I wonder if God will show up, or if I’m just being stood up. However, He shows up, because He cares about us!
What has helped me lately in viewing this relationship with God is how I imagine I would be with my kids. Gosh! I would love them so much that I wouldn’t want external people accusing them wrongly. I would give them everything they needed as long as I could. I would pick them up when they fall and encourage them to stand up again. I would be with them every step of the way (to the best of my human capacity). And this is just me as a human with limitations. How much more God who is limitless?
I hope this helps change your perspective of who God is- He is a good Father. Of course, it won’t happen in a day. Years of limiting beliefs of who God is will take some more time to heal. But He’s patient and willing to go through the process with you. He wants you to call Him Dad.
Happy Father’s Day!
Lots of love,