It is not an overstatement to say that the relationship we have or had with our fathers has a profound effect on every relationship we will ever have. And our father-child relationship plays a crucial role in shaping the relationship we have with God.
Whether we realize it or not, there are parallels between our "dad experience" and our "God experience." If we have or had a loving, encouraging relationship with our earthly father it is common to view our Heavenly Father much the same way.
Conversely, it is true that:
- Children who grew up with angry, intolerant fathers are more inclined to live in fear of God.
- Children whose dads abandoned them (physically or emotionally) often keep God at arm's length for fear that one day He may walk, too.
- Children of workaholic dads who wonder how much they really matter to him are more likely to grow up believing that they aren't a top priority to God, either.
- Children of sexually abusive fathers often want nothing to do God, just because He is a "father ".
The unfortunate consequence of seeing God through the lens of our dad is that we distance ourselves from the only One who can provide the love, acceptance, and healing we desperately need.
Whether we know it or not, we have a Father who thinks the world of us.
...Who delights in spending time with us.
...Who smiles at the thought of us
...Who picks us up when we fall down.
...Who forgives us when we mess up.
...Who wouldn't think of leaving us.
...Who offers us the very things we're looking for.
Some of us know the pain of broken trust as a result of fathers not living up to their promises. But God is a Father who always keeps His word. He hasn't broken a promise yet. One of His many promises to us, found in Psalm 27:10, is this: Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.
If you are feeling distant from God, it's not because He moved. He is at your side, at this very moment, holding you close. His deepest desire is to have a close, intimate relationship with you. Allow yourself to open up to Him. Healing for father wounds can only be found in one place--in the arms of the Heavenly Father.