Reflections on worshiping “God the Father” for the fatherless children:
Today is Father’s Day and it is one of the hardest days of the year for me. My father was mostly absent. When he was present, he was still not “fatherly.” I’ve done a lot of work, personally and with a professional therapist, on my “daddy issues.” I honestly think I’ve come to good place: accepting of what my dad is, who he is was, and what he did and didn’t do for me as a child and as an adult.
But my spiritual struggle comes when we talk about God, as “The Father.” How are the children of the fatherless, the father-poors, the father-abusers, to interpret the love of God the Father, when they have no positive experience with their own fathers?
In my personal spiritual journey, I can say, I could never emotionally connect to God as “my father.” Nor, was God, “my mother.” God, to me, was God. Beyond human labels, genders, ethnicity, even humanness. God, to me, is the God of the universe. God whose work can never be understood, because of its depth and complexity. “God, the Father,” to me, was just a relic of a paternalistic society trying to create God in the image of the ruling elite.
I am now older, more mature, and so blessed to be in the presence of one of the best fathers’ ever, my husband. The sacrifice, the love, the work, the guidance, the true desire of his life to provide, in every way, for his children and family, causes me to rethink my “God, the Father” analysis. My children will have a completely different connotation of comparing “Father God” to their father. It will make sense and be a source of love and understanding.
It has me very confused. How could calling, God, “our Father” be both positive and a negative, depending on the relationship of the individual of the person to their father?
I wish I had a wonderful revelation that I could conclude this reflection about how “God, the Father” means something new to me. But, my truth is, it doesn’t. There is nothing comforting, relatable, or loving of the idea of God as a Father Figure.
But what I believe is that God is strong enough to take my questions. Also, that just because “I” have a difficult time visualizing God as my Father, doesn’t mean “He isn’t my Father.” Perhaps there is an even amount of faith that is required to believe something I have never seen or experienced. Isn’t that what faith is really about anyways? A belief in something you can’t see?
I know that God has provided for me in my life, like my daughter’s father, just not my earthly father.
I know that God loves me, like my daughter’s father, just not my earthly father.
I know that God protects me, like my daughter’s father, just not my earthy father.
I know that we are all children of Father God, and that we are commanded to love one another, as siblings of the Most High King. Even if we don’t experience that type of love from our families.
I’ve come to my own conclusion to see God as the God of Love. And I’ve seen love, and the power of love, in a million different ways in all different kinds of people: mothers, sisters, brothers, friends, family, children, nature, struggles, successes, and so many more! That example of God’s love is important, even if I haven’t seen the best version of love from my earthly father.
My prayer is for all of you, who like me, have a difficult time relating to God in traditional ways. May we continue to struggle and that the struggle lead us to a more honest, meaningful relationship, with Our Father.
Love to you all!
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1