Last week, my dear niece was visiting us, and made some comments which made me realize how much she is questioning her faith. For example, at one point, when my husband was having a trying time, he said his new favorite phrase that is helping him look at things from a positive angle- “I wonder what God is doing today?” Dear niece said, “Letting children starve in Africa.”
Later during her visit, my husband said something upon which I’m still reflecting, “Our first and most permanent image of God is usually based upon our view of our own fathers.” I don’t think this is a revolutionary thought, but in our 3 cases it seemed to apply.
Dear niece actually quickly responded and said, “Hmm… that’s probably why I think God is pretty much absent and doesn’t care too much about anybody.” Her father has essentially been absent for her 17 years, struggles with alcoholism, is physically violent, and refuses to send financial support (though he currently doesn’t have the means to help.) There were times when my sister has worked 2 or 3 jobs (and had significant help from our family) to care for dear niece while her ex was on a binge or just enjoying life it its most hedonistic style.
DH and I had similar reflections on our relationships with our earthly fathers and our heavenly Father. I could ramble on and on here, but I’m wondering if anyone has had a similar experience, has read something useful that could help dear niece or even something useful that I could read that might just satisfy this new hunger to learn more about our fathers and our God.
I’d even love to hear your own reflections on how your relationship with your dad impacted your relationship with God.