Father / Heavenly Father

http://crystaladoptions.comA little girl visited my daughter a few nights ago.  They’re best friends. She claims to be an atheist but I’m confused about how anyone younger than sixteen knows if there is a God or not for sure.  I remember when I was that age and thought I knew though.  It must be possible to have that strong of a feeling to the contrary.

We spent the evening together having a rare teen-adult connection during conversation where she blurted out that her parents were not very kind to her.  She recounted some stories that made me hurt for her and, even if only remembered wrongly, I still recognized as life-shaping.  This is a girl, I kept thinking, that will turn into a woman who questions everything about the relationships she is in.  She will wonder if, when he says he loves her, if he really does.  She will second-guess her best friends (as she already does) and she will wonder if there is anyone who finds worth in her, even as she painstakingly dresses for another date or business meeting.

And this is a girl who can’t believe in God.  She could never believe in a Father in Heaven who loves her because she doesn’t even believe that her parents do.

I have thought about this for days.  I mull it over as one of the strangest but truest thoughts I’ve had in a while.  The question seems so obvious to me and yet so vague: Does our relationship and belief in a Heavenly Father have anything to do with our dysfunctional or trusting relationships with our own earthly parents?  And, regardless of whether or not those perceptions of our relationships are actually true or not, did it shape the way we formed our bond with God?

Does the man who spends his childhood with a father who is never home believe there is a God but that He doesn’t really participate in the daily lives of his children?  Does the woman who spent her childhood lost in the sea of children of a large family grow up to think that God loves her but never notices the things she does?  Does the child who is criticized often believe that they will never be good enough to go to heaven?

I’m starting to think a lot about my own parents these days and my perception of them.

12 thoughts on “Father / Heavenly Father

  1. Interesting post…I once heard someone say that, indeed, the way we understand God is through our parents…which can be quite sad in some cases….knowing how wonderful God is, after all…
    Thanks for stopping by, and for the follow!


    1. So true! It’s sad to think about those with judgmental or unfeeling parents. In my case I had the “unreachable” father. Maybe that’s why my struggles always seem to center around my frustration in reaching him directly.

      I’ve enjoyed your blog also. Thanks for visiting!


  2. This is interesting and thought-provoking. I was raised as a Christian but have not practiced religion in my adult life. I am a person of faith, but I do not necessarily believe in God. What I love about this post, is that you are asking us to examine our relationship with our parents and how that relationship has contributed to our existence and beliefs today. I don’t have the answer as to how my relationship with my parents has influenced my beliefs, but I will certainly be thinking about it. 🙂


    1. I totally get what you’re saying about where you are. It’s where I’ve been most of these last few years. I find the whole concept of our relationships with others in conjunction with a God such an interesting thing to think about too. I’m so glad you stopped by. Visit again some time.


  3. I spend a lot of time with homeless people, invariably their childhood was filled with, fetal alcohol syndrome, fetal crack addiction, physical and/or sexual abuse, abandonment or being evicted from home at an early age. The only comment I’ve heard about religion was, “He don’t want me down there, and he sure as hell don’t want me up there, so here I am.”



    1. I have always been saddened for anyone who feels like they don’t belong somewhere. I never was a very judgmental person and I guess, for some reason, that makes me assume that God is not either. 🙂 Thanks for your comments Dennis. And next time you see one of your friends, tell them I said I’m happy to know them through you.


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