We just celebrated Father’s Day in the U.S. It always puts me in a pensive mood.
How do you picture God? Do you see Him as an old man? Do you seem Him as gentle and quiet? Perhaps you see God as austere, demanding. Perhaps you see Him as absent, disinterested in your life.
Psychologists tell us that the images and impressions we have of life with our physical fathers establish our mental and emotional images of God.
In other words, the relationship we have with our Dads directly impacts the way we relate to God.
If your Dad was kind, gentle, fair that’s the way you’ll understand God to be.
If your Dad was honest, truthful, dependable then you’ll think God to be the same way.
I believe the main reason I personally find it easier than many people to trust God and to have deep faith in Him is because my Dad was strong, dependable, truthful, dutiful. He lived by the motto that his word was his bond. If he promised something, he did it no matter the cost.
Now my Dad had faults. Yep. But his particular strengths paved the way for me to trust my Heavenly Father totally.
But not all of us had Dads like that.
If your Dad was distant, uninvolved in your life you’ll believe God is the same way.
If your Dad was not trustworthy, if he was cruel, capricious you’ll see God the same way.
If your Dad was never around, you’ll think God doesn’t care either.
If I were a Dad it would frighten me to realize that what I say to my kids, what I do for them or to them, how I do or do not relate to them not only shapes them into the adults they will become, but it also shapes their relationship to God with eternal consequences.
A father’s relationship to his children puts them on a path toward a loving, forgiving God—or a path that leads them away from God. A path that makes it tremendously difficult for them to trust God.
And, if someone believes subconsciously that they can’t trust God it makes it hugely difficult for them to accept His love, His untethered gift of salvation that He offers through the sacrifice of His own Son, Jesus.
Dads, what a tremendous responsibility you have. I’m praying for you.
Ephesians 6:4 Amplified Bible
Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.
Colossians 3:21 Amplified Bible
Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or exasperate your children [with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by favoritism or indifference; treat them tenderly with lovingkindness], so they will not lose heart and become discouraged or unmotivated [with their spirits broken].