Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It is so true that we bring our past experience with relationships into play with our other relationships. Girls that are abused will often end up in abusive relationships as women. Boys will often become abusers. People that have great relationships with their parents are in a better place to have great relationships with others. This isn't absolute, but it makes a big difference statistically.

These same traits bleed over into our relationship with God. We talk about Him as our Father. Jesus told us to pray to Him as our Heavenly Father, but when we don't have a great relationship with our dads it really affects our perspective on God. Even when our dad is pretty awesome he isn't God and so our perspective on God still gets skew slightly. Sort of like having a scratch on our cornea. Did you know that stars are drawn with points because of vision problems? Yeah true story. The star of David, for example, was designed by someone living in a very dry and sandy place. Scratches from that blowing sand makes stars look like they have elongated points due to damage on the eye. The star doesn't look different in reality, just the damaged perspective.

Anyways, this is something I have been thinking about. My dad is a really good dad, but that didn't stop things from affecting my relationship with God. When I was young my dad had to travel a lot. He would often be gone for weeks at a time and then be home for only a couple weeks before being gone again. He also has a problem with his temper. It has gotten better over the years, but I remember getting yelled at over some pretty trivial things.

Now think about that for a bit. I have been. I have come to realize that I really base my relationship with God on my experiences with my dad. I often feel like God is far away for long periods of time then comes around and things are great till He leaves again. Mentally I understand that He doesn't move. I'm the one that comes and goes but He is faithfully there waiting. I also worry that god is going to explode when I tell Him about my mistakes. Even the small ones. I open the door and a straw wrapper that was on the floor falls out and I let it go. I think about it later and get worried that God is going to start yelling at me. It's crazy because I know God isn't like that, but it doesn't stop.

Just like someone with a scratched cornea probably knows a star is round, not pointed. The saw them before the damage and even hear others tell them about what the starts look like, but to them they see elongated points.

I need to ask God to heal my spiritual eyes.

What about you? How have your past relationship experiences affected the way you see God? Have you thought about it? Do you need healing so you can see Him more accurately?


Helen said...

I was blessed to have a great dad. He mainly got angry with me when I did something stupid that could of gotten me hurt. I don't mind seeing God that way at all. Of course, daddy wasn't perfect, and sometimes he got angry with me for having too soft of a heart, and he was afraid I would get hurt because of it one day. I believe God sees that problem a little differently, but that is okay.
I wish every child was blessed to have a dad whose mistakes stemmed from loving his children and wanting to protect them.

Nick the Geek said...


I think I generally have an awesome dad, but those few negative points have really altered the way I react to God.

jasonS said...

That's it exactly. I've been a Christian since I was 6 years old and I am still finding out I've held all these misconceptions and false assumptions about God. Our relationship with others affects everything for sure.

It always amazes me that God set it up so that our growing and strengthened relationship with Him affects everything else in our lives. We have to get that right!

Great post and that's so interesting about the eye damage- I didn't know that!

CM said...

My dad is wonderful, but he's human. He has a very difficult time expressing his feelings (I always knew he loved me, though). Anyway, it definitely affected the way that I see God. It has been very hard sometimes for me to see God's tenderness, and even harder to believe that it was meant for me.

Nick the Geek said...

Thanks, I think it is interesting the way you said, "It always amazes me that God set it up so that our growing and strengthened relationship with Him affects everything else in our lives." It is very important to understand that our experiences in life shape our relationship with God, but also our relationship with God shapes our experiences in life. Very good.

I think it is good to know how different things affect the way we react to God because then we can try to grow closer to God. Of course, we can only do that by relying on God to repair our brokenness.

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