But encouraging, trustworthy, caring, approachable, and loving are not the adjectives many of us would use to describe our fathers. Some have dads who are abusive. Some have dads who drink too much or are drug-addicted. Some have fathers who have made work their top (and sometimes only) priority. Some don’t have dads at all. Our father may have died. He may have left by choice. And some have no idea who their father is.
As a result, our concept of God (a.k.a. our Heavenly Father) gets skewed. We come to experience our Heavenly Father much as we experience(d) our earthly fathers. We see God as:
- Angry–our spiritual life resembles our home life; we find ourselves walking on eggshells, trying not to do or say anything that might upset our Father.
- Preoccupied–we believe that God, like our dad, always has more important things on His mind and doesn’t want to be bothered by us.
- Distant–we think that fathers--including the Heavenly Father--are emotionally cold and incapable of intimacy.
- Impulsive–experience tells us not to get too close to the Heavenly Father because fathers could pick up and leave at any moment, for any reason.
- Non-existent–since fathers are not a part of our reality it’s less painful to simply go on as if they didn't exist at all.
Let me state this clearly based on the authority of God’s Word: these are false beliefs that will not only block the path to emotional healing, they will bring ruin to our spiritual lives. And I speak from experience.
For much of my life I held beliefs about God that were based on my “father experience”; beliefs that I discovered were downright lies. It wasn’t until the truth about my Heavenly Father was revealed that I found healing for my wounded soul. The journey to find who my Heavenly Father really is led me to these truths:
- He “abounds” in love for me–The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love. (Psalm 103:8, NIV)
- He is never too busy for me--God’s there, listening for all who pray and mean it. (Psalm 145:18, The Message)
- He wants to be close to me–The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18, NIV)
- He will always be there for me--Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5, NIV)
- He encourages me on the journey–Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, NIV)
We have a Heavenly Father who wants to provide healing for our father wounds. That cannot happen until the barriers of false belief are removed. Find out who He is. Who He really is. It is when we know the truth that road to recovery opens before us.