Do you really know your Father?
Our beliefs about God are colored by abusive relationships with our earthly fathers. If we apply these distorted perceptions to God, we miss a vital relationship with One who loves us more than any earthly person.
Words spoken by our fathers affect our lives long past the event. The memory of these words haunt our self-perception and influence decisions about our future.
When I was seven, my father came into my bedroom late at night, knelt by my bed and said, “You are so stupid, dumb, and ugly, no man will ever want to marry you. I’m going to teach you to put out so you can at least get a man.”
Those hurtful words tore deep into my soul. I believed what he said and made them a self-fulfilling prophesy. They were dredged up at every intersection of my life and influenced my unhealthy decisions.
I grew to hate the words, “I love you.” When my parents told me they loved me it meant they wanted something from me and it would hurt. I became a people-pleaser, believing, only if I did what people wanted, would they like me. My self-image was distorted by that one statement.
When Christians approached me and said, “God loves you.” I wondered what God wanted and if it would hurt me. I didn’t want a father’s love, nor did I believe that God wanted anything to do with me. In order to form the relationship I now have with God, I had to realize God was not like my earthly father.
It took time to trust God’s love for me. He knows the number of hairs on my head, has my name written in the palm of his hand and loves me passionately. I’ve learned to trust Him, but that trust did not come easy. God is patient with us as we begin our shaky relationship with Him.
I wondered why God didn’t approach me and make me realize His love. I wanted Him to be proactive. In retrospect, I realize He treated me like a cornered animal. He sat patiently, held out His hand to me, and waited until I gained courage to approach Him.
He always received my approaches to Him, but never pushed beyond my boundaries. God did not force Himself on me the way my earthly father forced me. God just loved me and let me slowly respond to Him, never forcing me beyond my comfort level.
In my next post I’m going to talk about different kinds of love mentioned in the Bible so we can see what God’s love entails. His love is so awesome. He loves us before we even know Him and His love is not contingent on what we do or don’t do. He loves us in spite of ourselves. He loves us with our flaws and our strengths. Nothing we do or don’t do can shake His love for us.
That doesn’t mean He doesn’t correct our behavior or desire that we grow and change. God’s correction is for our good, not to tear us down. He wants us to have a joyful, fulfilled, and satisfying life. God only wants the best for us.
What images of the Father did you have to unlearn?
If possible, share with us how you unlearned false facts about God or how you overcame negative words spoken over your life. The tools you used to overcome them could be an encouragement for others.
Have a blessed day.