Father. For some, that is a word that conjures up feelings of warmth, security, and pride. For all too many others it is a word that triggers shame, pain, and anger.
The relationship we have with our fathers has a profound effect on every human relationship we have on this earth. And it plays a crucial role in shaping the relationship we have with God.
I have known first-hand the pain inherent of growing up with an alcoholic father. Through the years I have discovered how my dad’s drinking not only drove a wedge between the two of us, it also became a barrier between me and God.
I had unwittingly transferred characteristics of my earthly father to my Heavenly Father. My journey toward spiritual health has led me to a profoundly more accurate understanding of who my Heavenly Father really is. The journey has also led me to cross paths with countless people who are dealing with (or not dealing with as the case may be) the same dilemma: adults, teens, and children whose concept of their Heavenly Father has been tainted by relationships with their earthly fathers that were far from ideal.
The truth of the matter is this: There is a direct parallel between how we experience our fathers and how we experience our God. The toxins from a strained or non-existent father-child relationship can be lethal to our relationship with God. If our home life was poisoned by our father’s anger or abuse, or perhaps his ambivalence or absence, there is a strong likelihood our spiritual life will be tainted as we experience our Heavenly Father in much the same way.
The misconceptions of who God really is are devastating. They have led some to reject God altogether. Even the thought of entering a relationship with a Heavenly Father makes us sick to our stomach. We convince ourselves that it’s not worth the risk; that if we just walk away we will be better off.
But the sad reality is when we walk away from our Heavenly Father we are turning our backs on the only One who can provide healing for our father wounds. He is a Father we can trust. A Father who will never leave us. A Father who will love us no matter what. A Father who protects us and wants us to prosper. A Father who longs to hold us. A Father who encourages His kids. A Father who genuinely wants to spend time with us, who is pleased with us. A Father who suffers with us. A Father who gives us hope and a future.
Father wounds can be healed when we place ourselves in the arms of our Heavenly Father.