In the week before Mother’s day I posted meditations, prayers and creative ideas for helping us connect to maternal images of God and celebrate the mother heart of God. As we approach Father’s day here in the U.S. I realized how important it is for me to do the same for Father’s day.
I must confess this is much harder for me because I did not have a good relationship with my own father who was physically violent and domineering. Unfortunately I am aware that for many of us such experiences have tainted our view of our heavenly father too. And on top of that we have often been exposed to patriarchal sometimes warlike images of God the father, images that sometimes unconsciously make us feel that God is an angry, vindictive God who punishes us for every wrong doing.
As I meditated on my own views of God the father this week, I realized that central to my understanding of the father heart of God is my conviction that God is love. My image of God as a loving, caring father is still something that I am growing into however. I need constant reminders of God’s love for me expressed through forgiveness, compassion and provision. I need to spend time sitting in the presence of God, imagining myself a child on its parent’s lap. We all need to grow deeper into God’s love.
What is your response?
Listen to the Lord’s prayer
Sit quietly for a few minutes thinking about your own image of God the father. When you think about God as father what thoughts come to mind? Make a list of your impressions.
Now imagine yourself sitting on God’s lap, held in a loving embrace. Read through Paul’s wonderful treatise on love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Make a second list of the nature of love. Compare your two lists. Sit quietly again the presence of God allowing God’s love to wash over you. What images that you have of God the Father need to change? Offer a prayer for healing and restoration.
Now watch this video which explores some of the scriptures that giving expression to this loving, caring God.
Write your own Father’s love letter. What might God want to say to you at this time about your own impressions of God? Finish with a time of prayer
This is part of a series on the father heart of God. You may like to check out the full series:
And for those who want to balance this with maternal images of God check out my posts from the week before Mother’s day: