I had the privilege of attending a seminar about the influence of the Father. The speaker was talking about the influence of our Earthly and Heavenly Father. The speaker encouraged the attendees to write a list describing our earthly father (i.e. dad); then the speaker asked us to write another list describing our relationship with our heavenly father (i.e. God). He encouraged us to really take time to think about each and resist the temptation to write what we know others expect to hear from us.
I was amazed at the similarities in my list. I certainly used different words to describe the relationships of each; however there was a common theme among these lists. It made me begin to think about how much influence does our relationship with our fathers and men on earth influence our perception of God.
If our earthly father tended to be gentle, caring and loving, are we more readily able to accept and believe in God’s gift of love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace?
If our earthly father tended to be critical, harsh, and strict, do we see God as our accuser ready to send us to Hell?
If our earthly father is absent, do we readily believe God loves us and will never leave us?
Much of the literature will say that our relationships and attachment with our parental figures does impact our sense of self and relationships with others so it doesn’t seem like a large leap that it would also influence our relationship with The Father, Our God.
My hope and belief is that if we have a negative perception of God and can change our perception of God, this would significantly impact all our other relationships, including our relationship with our self. I would encourage you to create the same list as I created at the seminar; notice if there are any themes. Then search the Bible to find evidence of how God truly is. Write those verses down and use them as a daily reminder.