As a boy I saw the absence of my father in my home as a something incredibly difficult to deal with. When he was home I saw someone who could easily be two different people. I saw contradictions right and left in what he said vs. what he did.
I listened as my Dad told me it’s not ok to lie, but then watched as he lied to his boss, because he was angry with him and didn’t want to do what he was supposed to do.
My Dad told me cursing was not ok; but when he got mad, upset or really angry those words spewed from his mouth easily. He tamed them somewhat around my mom, because he said it was out of respect. When he was around his friends, it was no holds barred and I heard it all.
He always found fault with others and rarely if ever could see the good in anyone. He told both my sister and I never to marry outside of our race. His ways were always right, you didn’t question him on that and he always wanted what he considered the best and once he had his mind made up he wouldn’t change it.
My Dad wasn’t one for affection and dishing out love or compliments. He made it very clear to me that if you messed up there was consequences for your actions and this usually meant some type of negative or physical punishment.
This is all the stuff I believed and bought into growing up and has made it difficult in my relationship with God. I know God is so polar opposite of my own biological father. I have read and studied the Bible and know God’s love for us is so incredibly different. God is a God of love and everything he does is backed by love for us, his children.
My experiences in life and with my father have while not purposefully, been transferred onto God and how he views me. I have believed that when God looked down on me and saw what I was doing he was less than pleased. He was saddened and hurt and angry with me because I would not stop what I was doing.
I have always struggled with how God deals with me in regards to sin. Because I am the head of my house and the leader of my family if I messed up something has always gone wrong in our family (things break, stop working, run out of money, the list goes on and on) I see this directly tied into my failures and God’s way of disciplining me. I look at myself and see that God loves me but only to the extent I do exactly what he says and wants, otherwise I just don’t measure up and he’s silent.
My heart breaks because I know that God created each one of us with a purpose. We have value, we matter and that even if it was just one of us he would have sent his son. I do love others and I see their value and beauty. I love my wife and kids more than anything else in this world and am considerably blessed to have them. My closest friends mean the world to me. I would die for most of my family and friends because I love them so incredibly much.
I have a lot of knowledge about God as well as experience in feeling him and knowing he’s real in my. I can’t deny his existence in my life it’s all very real. I just wished I felt like God loved me the way I love others. This is what makes it difficult in my life with God. In the last couple of years I have begun to feel God’s love for me in profound ways and it’s helped me believe God truly does love me no matter what. I guess I am hoping and waiting for something miraculous. Something “Hollywood-esque” where the wave of a wand and POOF – it all melts away and I am left feeling loved in ways I never imagined or felt before.
I am pressing into God now and asking him to love me in new ways. Ways I have never experienced that help me just not know with my head but more than anything my hearts melts and I feel an overwhelming sense of love and acceptance by him.
How about you, can you relate? Do you feel the love of God that has completely transformed your life?