From Rebecca and Joan:
We were having lunch the other day with Rebecca’s friend Zac. Along came another friend (Arthur) of all of ours who began to chat about his upcoming weekend. Arthur was going to be traveling out of town to teach a seminar about the Father’s love. Well, when we found out what the subject matter was going to be for the seminar, you could almost see our ears perk up. We are always on alert for information that might contribute to our U Love blog. This was no exception.
Arthur enthusiastically described to us how he had been invited to teach a seminar in which he would be using some of his known materials on the topic of the Father’s love. He mentioned that when he discussed the coming seminar with others, there was apparent apprehension by some regarding just how people relate to this subject. Evidently, talking about the Father’s love stirs people in different ways, both positively and negatively, depending upon various factors. One of those factors can be their past relationship with their earthly father. We all agreed that we too have noticed that just talking about the Father’s love sometimes does strike a nerve with people. Why is that?
Rebecca’s friend, Zac, had some interesting comments about it all. He said that obviously everyone has a father, and depending on whether your relationship with your earthly father was good or bad can color your relationship with your heavenly Father. Zac indicated that our vision of God can be affected by our experience with our biological father. It’s very much tied together. We all agreed wholeheartedly with Zac.
This then prompted each one of us to relate a story about our own experiences with our earthly father. Zac led the discussion by telling how much he, even in his twenties, still loves to hug his dad, which then translates into feeling closer to God. Rebecca went next by sharing that, even though she has an upbeat, loving relationship with her father, she has struggled with viewing God as loving. She saw Him as more of a strict God, which she surmises was because her mom was the strict disciplinarian of the household. And Joan said that because she was not close with her father, she initially had a tough time drawing close to God.
That left Arthur who said he knew of his dad’s love for him, but was not shown that love with affection in words or behavior. Arthur went on to say that he loves to walk down the street arm in arm with his daughter, exuding fatherly love towards her. This causes him to wonder what it was like when Adam walked in the Garden of Eden with God. Did they walk with their arms linked as Arthur does with his daughter, or were they a distance apart as when Arthur walked with his dad?
All this illustrates our point that discussing the Father’s love (the earthly father vs. the heavenly Father) can truly bring out strong emotions in people. It also affects a person’s thinking about God. And, it is all tied to the concept of unconditional love which emanates from God.
How people relate to their earthly father, including how they receive or don’t receive love from their earthly father, often affects how they relate to their heavenly Father. A lot of times, if someone had a harsh earthly father who did not show them unconditional love, they then see God that way too. In reality, however, that couldn’t be more incorrect about God. Regardless of how we view our earthly father, our Heavenly Father loves us deeply and unconditionally. We know this because we read about it in the Bible regularly. You can check it out there, too.
We’ll continue this talk on the Father’s love next post. Please join us next time for more on this challenging issue! See you then!
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