Relationship with Dad Affecting Your Image of God?

Have you ever thought how your relationship with your dad might affect your perception of God? And ultimately your relationship with Him?

Years ago I heard a speaker explain how our viewpoint of God is directly related to experiences we have with our earthly father. If our dad is distant and authoritative, that’s how we see God. But in contrast, if he’s loving and forgiving, we carry that picture. I believe that’s true.

With Father’s Day approaching, I’ve thought about the images of God’s personality and love that my own dad has given.

Dad Saved
Around the age of three, my parents left my toddler brother with my grandmother, and took me to the lake fishing. We didn’t have a boat, so they fished from the end of a long dock. I was supposed to remain close, but must have gotten antsy, because I fell into the lake! We weren’t so careful about using lifejackets back then. I felt no fear, was perfectly calm, and even saw a fish swim by during what seemed a very slow descent. Then, suddenly my dad’s arm wrapped around me, and he carried me to the surface. People fishing nearby rushed over to make sure I was okay. That was the end of fishing for that day!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3: 16 NIV)

Dad Taught
At the age of four, I was still not allowed to cross the street in front of my parents’ business alone. One day, as I was playing outside, a friend beckoned me with treats from the doorway of the small grocery store directly across the road. Yep, you guessed it. I crossed the street. After all, she was my friend and she had popsicles!

That was the first of rare spankings my father administered on my bottom. But he did it out of love and wanting to protect me from horrible danger. I don’t think God punishes us for our blunders, but I think sometimes he allows bad things to happen as a result so that we can learn from our mistakes.

Dad Forgives
Lying to my mother was a matter of self-preservation. The day I “borrowed” my mother’s red finger nail polish and then promptly spilled some on a dresser scarf, I blamed the mess on a cousin. My mom turned the matter over to my dad, who even as big as I was, cuddled me on his lap and asked me to tell the truth. I could never lie to my dad. With tears streaming down my face, I admitted to being the culprit. Dad hugged me and that was the end of it.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NIV)

Dad Listens
I was eight years old when my mother became pregnant with my sister. I’d never seen my mother so “difficult” to be around and didn’t understand that women can get a little hormonal during pregnancy. In tears, I sought out my father. He placed me on a stool, listened to my sobs as I relayed my woes, and then with gentleness, explained why my mother was on edge.

Our Heavenly Father is always ready and willing to listen to whatever is on our heart.

Dad Loves Unconditionally
As an adult, I made a difficult, life changing decision that affected not only me, but family and friends. Some stood by me. Some couldn’t at the time. It was heartbreaking knowing that I was not only disappointing people, I was also causing pain.

I’ll never forget the phone conversation I had with my dad. He said, “Dawn, you do what you need to do. Just know that I love you.”

What a gift my dad gave me. It still brings tears to my eyes many years later.

God loves like that. Unconditionally. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done. How much we disappointed or hurt Him. He will never, ever stop loving us.

This Father’s Day, think about your own dad and what he’s done for you. And if you’re a father, consider the picture of God you’re giving your own children.

Happy Father’s Day!

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post, Dawn. Very open and insightful. I know lots of people can relate with your post one way or another. Thank you.



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