Archive for the ‘parenthood’ Category

How a father loves

Posted: February 4, 2010 in christianity, faith, parenthood

Dear Jesus,
They say that our first impressions of God are formed by how we view and interact with our parents when we are babies and young children. If that is the case, it makes sense to me since as babies our whole world revolves around our parental figure/s, and we look to them for every provision, comfort and need. Our parent/s fill our eyes as the be all end all for a time, and nothing else, or very little else exists outside of them. Then as we grow older and experience more and begin to learn more, we also usually “learn” about God, but the basic elements of that foundation have already been laid, and depending on how that foundation has been constructed, we spend our lives building on it, or trying to rebuild it. In my case, being that my time as a very young child was spent with an authoritarian father and missing a biological mother, it’s no surprise I’ve spent much of my adult life trying to re-program my gut instincts in regards to the presence of God in my life. Even now I catch myself sometimes thinking that God is waiting for me to screw up so he can say “gotcha!” Even now I have to remind myself that God is not waiting for me to drop the ball so he can find a reason to discipline or damn me. It sucks to have such a slanted view of God from the get go, but it’s what I have to deal with and so I do it and improve a little each day.

The idea that our view of God is shaped by our view of our parents has been even more frequently in my mental space ever since my wife told me she was pregnant with our daughter, who is now 14 months old. I think about it all the time, and how my relationship to her will affect her view of God. But what does that also teach me as a parent about how God views me, since I am supposed to be one of God’s children with God as my mother/father? I believe the correlation is intentional, and is supposed to teach us something about how God loves us, his children. Knowing how much I love my daughter, how much I marvel in the miracle that she is, and knowing that in my heart of hearts I could never turn away from her, no matter what she did, that my love for her as a father is unconditional, how much more does God love us, God who loves so perfectly, and sees through to our innermost beings, whose love can change a person….whose love can change the world. When i look at my daughter, I can not help but love her, and when she does things I don’t like, or that are bad, i don’t stop loving her, I discipline, yes but never forsake. If we as humans have the capacity to love in this manner, flawed as we are, does that not give us hope in the love of God? For me it does. It gives me the hope that I am banking on, that God loves me even when I royally fuck up. He will wait to teach me, and will often discipline me, but he never forsakes me or turns his back on me. Even when I am feeling worthless and unforgivable, God loves. When I am feeling like an orphan, God reminds me that I am a son. And when i look at my daughter and all the beauty and glory that she is to me, I remind myself that that is how God looks at us, and that no matter what has happened in our past or what will happen in the future, the one constant will always remain. God loves us. And that’s all i really need to know because that’s what all every child needs to know, that their Mother/Father loves them.