Father’s Day is right around the corner. However, many children are growing up without a father in the home. In fact, fatherlessness is an epidemic in this country and has been said to be the underlying cause of many societal ills such as crime, out of wedlock pregnancies, and skyrocketing school dropout rates. Some children don’t know who their father is because they have never met their biological male parent. I have a question for you: Do you know Who your Daddy is? I don’t mean your earthly parent. I mean your Heavenly Father. Do you have an accurate perception of Him?
Parents are supposed to model God for their children. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world, and we all have issues. Because parents may have unresolved emotional wounds from their childhood, they may not always be able to portray the loving character of God. I’m not saying that we should blame our parents for all our problems and use that as an excuse to stay in a stunted spiritual and personal growth state for the rest of our lives. What I am saying is that we must be aware that our parents were imperfect people and could not always represent God accurately in every circumstance. Therefore, we must identify our faulty perceptions that we have acquired concerning God. If we don’t, the devil will use that deception to keep us from fulfilling our God-given destiny. We have to get into the Word for ourselves and find out Who God says He is.
There are several faulty messages about God that you could have received in your childhood. Therefore, if you are a parent, you can avoid misrepresenting God by doing the following:
Keep Your Word – When you tell your children that you will do something, please follow through. God always keeps His Word. So if you want to model God to your kids, keep your promises you make to them.
Give Unconditional Love –When earthly parents show conditional love, they misrepresent God. Conditional love is exhibited when a child makes a mistake or falls short in some way, and after the he or she is disciplined, the parent emotionally punishes the youth (even after a bout of repentance) with the proverbial “cold shoulder” or silent treatment. When your child fails in some way, unconditional love will require you to discipline and train him, and then get back to a loving relationship without holding grudges. Forgiveness and immediate restoration of the emotional connection should be the norm.
Be Emotionally and Physically There – Abandonment can be emotional or physical. For example, a father can be in the home physically, but be emotionally absent. Whatever the case may be, the youngster ends up feeling alone. When a parent fails to be involved in a child’s life, she gets a distorted view of God. Furhtermore, she will have a hard time believing that God will be there for her and not abandon her. Make every effort to be there emotionally and physically for your child.
Avoid Having a Critical Spirit – Kids are people too. When you speak to your children, remember Jesus is watching you. If He was right there in the room with you (and He really is), would you say the same thing, with the same tone to your young person? Words have such power to build up and destroy. What I like about God is that He is always positive and uplifting. His goal is to build us up, not tear us down. He gives us constructive feedback for the purpose of making us better. Make sure your words edify and communicate love even when you must discipline your kids. Avoid a critical spirit and praise them when they do something good.
Don’t Expect Perfection – Nobody is perfect. When parents expect children to be perfect and give them no margin for error, God is being misrepresented. Sometimes parents try to hide their own imperfections from their kids. They may refuse to apologize to their little ones. Children who have parents who “appear” perfect will end up being perfectionists because they believe they have to be perfect to receive love and acceptance. You were a kid once. Therefore, remember how many mistakes you made as you journeyed into adulthood and allow them to be imperfect as well. After all, Jesus died for our imperfections.
Provide Consistent Discipline – It’s clear in the Bible that God chastens those He loves (Hebrews 12:6). When parents fail to discipline their offspring for behaving badly, it communicates a lack of love.. Also, when children are threatened with punishment or discipline, and the threat is not followed up with action, they learn they can get away with bucking authority without consequences. That is a serious misrepresentation of God. He always provides consistent discipline. There are always consequences that ensue when we fail to follow His commands. That’s why in order to represent God accurately, consistent discipline is a must.
If your childhood was not perfect, you may have an erroneous perception of God in some areas. The way to a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him is to read the Word, identify the negative views you have of Him, forgive your parents for their part in that, and let the Lord reprogram your thinking and renew your mind with the truth about Who He really is. So this Father’s Day, take inventory and ask yourself, do you really know who your Daddy is?
What view did you previously have of God that you eventually found out was not true? Please leave a comment below.
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