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  • Learning to trust God when you've had a bad father figure...

    Hi everyone. I was speaking with a friend the other day, and told her I have a hard time putting my faith and trust in God because my earthly father wasn't a very good father. I am sure there are many of us who have had the same problem. Even after five years, I still cannot seem to trust God 100%. In my head, I know that God is more than my earthly father could ever be. But I cannot get that into my heart for some reason. I'm just wondering how any of you who have gone through this learned to trust in the Lord.

  • #2
    Oh Boy have I ever!!!

    Yes....although my experience was of a non-existent father, since he died when I was only 6 and my mom never remarried.

    I virtually had NO concept of what a father was or should be. The only perception of fatherhood I had resulted from watching my abusive husband with our son, and that was a DISASTER!!!

    In my testimony, I recounted how desolate I felt as an eight year old child, so it is no surprise to me that when Jesus felt the time was right for me to get to know my Heavenly Father, the "vision" (mental movie in this case) He gave me reverted me back to being eight years old.

    Here's what happened in the "vision". Jesus and I were walking through a beautiful garden and he took me (still an adult) by the hand and grinned real big and said "Today I have a wonderful surprise for you". I asked what it was and He just took me by the hand and began to lead me through the garden, still grinning, but not answering my question. As we walked further, I then saw myself as an eight year old child, holding His hand as we walked.

    Suddenly we came around the end of a well-manicured hedge, and there, seated on a golden bench, was Father God. I was terrified, and I hid behind Jesus, unable to speak. Jesus said, "Don't be afraid. You have nothing to fear. You'll see." And He turned and took me by the shoulders and put me in front of Him. At that point, God the Father stood up and approached me, smiling sweetly and gently. He said something to Jesus, which I didn't catch, and Jesus began to walk away, leaving me alone with Father God. The only concept of Him I'd ever had was of a God who was strict and unbending, judgmental, critical, impossible to please, looking for an opportunity to damn my soul to eternal hell.

    But Father God took me by the hand and smiled at me, and began to walk me down another path, and then across a meadow. I couldn't BELIEVE where He took me. He took me to a PLAYGROUND, and there He put me on the swings and swung me. He went down the slide with me and pushed me on the merry-go-round. Then we chased each other all over that playground...He'd let me catch Him, and then we'd fall to the ground and roll over and over in the grass, where He would tickle me and I laughed till I cried, and then, sitting on top of Him, I would tickle Him and HE laughed "till He cried". He swung me around and around until we both staggered and fell from dizziness, and He hugged me and kissed me and told me how much He loved me. Then, when I was almost exhausted from fun, He said to me, "Call me Abba" (which means Papa or Daddy).

    That day I lost ALL my terror of Abba and He became my wonderful Papa. The hole in my heart that I felt as a little eight year old girl, sitting in the hot Florida sun, in the black dirt, was gone...healed....the desolation of the memory was even gone.

    I am very secure in His love for me now. Although I never knew what it was like to have a Father, I do now, because He is constantly nearby and I am aware of His presence. He "implanted" in my heart something that I can't explain, but would never want to be without again. And there is a wonderful Father-daughter relationship there that I never could have known without Him.

    Abba's little girl,
    Hoot
    Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words. St. Francis of Assisi
    No reserve (from God, no holding back)
    No retreat (from God, no turning back)
    No regrets (from God, no looking back)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lyndie View Post
      Hi everyone. I was speaking with a friend the other day, and told her I have a hard time putting my faith and trust in God because my earthly father wasn't a very good father. I am sure there are many of us who have had the same problem. Even after five years, I still cannot seem to trust God 100%. In my head, I know that God is more than my earthly father could ever be. But I cannot get that into my heart for some reason. I'm just wondering how any of you who have gone through this learned to trust in the Lord.
      Yah, I hear ya. Pray about this, and just try Him. Meaning try doing things His way on something that you are having a hard time trusting Him in. For me it was "not fornicating"....At first it was so hard to trust that God would be able to find a man who would wait. Little did I know that He had already found someone before I even made that decision. He told me He had found a husband for me. I trusted that, but as time went on I began to question whether it was really God or just my imagination. But trusting God won out in the end, and now I am seeing this wonderful man who is such a good godly man that I feel so blessed to be a part of his life. Yes it took years to see my trust in the LOrd come to fruition, but it is sooooo worth it.
      TRUST HIM
      Don't seek too much knowledge. You just may be putting more weight on your shoulders than you're able to bare. Let God be the one to decide how quickly you grow.

      Comment


      • #4
        I never had a close relationship with my Dad when I was young..but when I came to know the Lord and realized that I had a Father in heaven that loved me more than any earthly father could? I cried. I have loved Him as my Father for over 20 years now and I know for certain He has loved me as His child...

        His Child and Forever I am (Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb..)

        http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/r/e/redeemed.htm
        .................The message of the cross divides the human race." ~MW~

        ........ ... " LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant..."
        .................................................. .................................................. ...Nehemiah 1:11a



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        • #5
          My dad has several mental disorders. Among them is Paranoia, Schizophrenia, and Bipolar. He is a Christian however. He is intrusive, insulting, manipulative, controlling and judgmental. He uses God as a weapon to persecute others including his family. He pits family members against each other. He blames everyone around him for his problems, and belittles every effort of success in others lives. He is not happy unless your miserable as he is miserable. He is a racist, and a bigot with a filthy mouth. He constantly complains about the weather, and all of his physical pains. He smokes 3 packs of cigarettes a day, and is at least 150 lbs overweight most of his life because he eats like a pig.

          He has this control over every member of my 7 member family, meaning brothers, sister, and his ex-wife my mother.

          Ad to that an IQ of about 150.

          When he was in his early 20's he was shot in the belly in a gang fight. The bullet traveled, puncturing his lung and rendering it unusable, nicked his heart, and still has it lodged in his shoulder today. 2 years ago, one of my brothers stabbed him in the head 17 times with a special forces knife. That brother is now committed to a mental ward for life. 12 years ago he had a heart attack with a triple bypass. 5 years ago he had a stroke that drooped his face and completely wiped out his mind. Today... it is like it never happened. His face is back to full recovery, his speech is clear, and his mind is sharp as ever. 3 years ago, he had another stroke. It knocked him down. The stroke is obvious on the MRI. It had no effect on him other than knocking him out for an hour, and two days of headaches.

          He has skin cancer and occasionally has to drop by the VA to have a chunk cut off of him. He has congestive heart failure with a heart that only operates at 23% of what a normal heart would operate at in a man of his 62 years. The heart failure caused him to only be able to take 3 steps before he had to catch his breath let alone the excessive weight the edema was causing. Thanks to modern medicine, a pace maker has cleared all of that up.

          So with all of that and more.... My question is what God can compete with all of that. In my life the question is God who?

          I know God in wrote and in intellect only. The touchy fealy lovey dovey daddy crap about God that everyone speaks of I have no clue about. My earthly Father has singlehandedly manipulated, demanded, and forced all of my emotions regarding that stuff for himself.

          Sorry this all sounds harsh, but it is all very real, and very true. I gotta say that when I saw this thread, it was like a Godsend, as this is what I'm dealing with right now in my life and it is effecting me and my relationship with God huge.

          I have no solution, and the guy (did mention he never knew his dad as he was the result of a one nighter) just won't die.

          I gotta say though... 3 months ago, I think he finally let me go.
          Last edited by Serve-N-Protect; Oct 4th 2007, 10:48 PM. Reason: edited expletive

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          • #6
            servenprotect

            hmmm, your dad sounds like my outlaws (inlaws) and my dad combined.
            All I can say is to seek God on this, seriously seek Him on your "father issues", on your view of who God is. Your dad sounds more like a man who God is trying to humble.
            There is a scripture that someone posted that I had forgotten...but I want you to pray on this scripture, that God would reveal it to your heart.
            I know it seems pretty obvious, but your heart needs to receive it.

            Mal 3:16¶Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard [it], and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

            Mal 3:17And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
            Don't seek too much knowledge. You just may be putting more weight on your shoulders than you're able to bare. Let God be the one to decide how quickly you grow.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Saved7 View Post
              hmmm, your dad sounds like my outlaws (inlaws) and my dad combined.
              All I can say is to seek God on this, seriously seek Him on your "father issues", on your view of who God is. Your dad sounds more like a man who God is trying to humble.
              There is a scripture that someone posted that I had forgotten...but I want you to pray on this scripture, that God would reveal it to your heart.
              I know it seems pretty obvious, but your heart needs to receive it.

              Mal 3:16¶Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard [it], and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

              Mal 3:17And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
              Show me the God who can humble that man and I will show you the God I will call father.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lyndie View Post
                Hi everyone. I was speaking with a friend the other day, and told her I have a hard time putting my faith and trust in God because my earthly father wasn't a very good father. I am sure there are many of us who have had the same problem. Even after five years, I still cannot seem to trust God 100%. In my head, I know that God is more than my earthly father could ever be. But I cannot get that into my heart for some reason. I'm just wondering how any of you who have gone through this learned to trust in the Lord.
                It's all grace! Take it to the Lord and tell him you desire to trust Him more. Just keep asking him. Your heart will be quickened in certain areas and you will learn more about God in your studies, in church, etc. God will guide you to learn those things that will help you trust him more.

                I love the NT example "I believe, help Thou my unbelief". Ask Him to change your heart. I am sure he will.
                Matt 9:13
                13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
                NASU

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Serve-N-Protect View Post
                  Show me the God who can humble that man and I will show you the God I will call father.

                  Then why do you call yourself a christian if you doubt God's power?
                  It's not a failing on God's part, but on your fathers part. You'll notice that your dad has many problems but instead of crying out to God he is just getting angrier. Maybe you need to be praying for you dad, as it would seem that instead of mental illnesses, he may just have a demon. Maybe he is not truely a christian after all. We cannot truely judge his heart, but his fruits tell us that he desperately needs your prayers.
                  My dad is an opinionated alchoholic harsh, angry, know it all *%^*^%*. My outlaws are meanspirited, physcotic liars who are obsessed with my daughter and have done everything in their power to steal her away from me. But I still pray for them...they are humans who Jesus died for too.

                  BTW, God is your creator, making Him your First father, your TRUE Father.
                  Don't seek too much knowledge. You just may be putting more weight on your shoulders than you're able to bare. Let God be the one to decide how quickly you grow.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Serve-N-Protect View Post
                    Show me the God who can humble that man and I will show you the God I will call father.
                    Well..from what I have seen of the Holy Spirit's progress under such tough circumstances in your mind and heart, I suspect if you take a look in the mirror, you will find him..you are very much becoming this man of God.
                    "On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand." —My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less, Edward Mote

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Saved7 View Post
                      Then why do you call yourself a christian if you doubt God's power?
                      It's not a failing on God's part, but on your fathers part. You'll notice that your dad has many problems but instead of crying out to God he is just getting angrier. Maybe you need to be praying for you dad, as it would seem that instead of mental illnesses, he may just have a demon. Maybe he is not truely a christian after all. We cannot truely judge his heart, but his fruits tell us that he desperately needs your prayers.
                      My dad is an opinionated alchoholic harsh, angry, know it all *%^*^%*. My outlaws are meanspirited, physcotic liars who are obsessed with my daughter and have done everything in their power to steal her away from me. But I still pray for them...they are humans who Jesus died for too.

                      BTW, God is your creator, making Him your First First father, your TRUE Father.
                      Thanks saved. You have a harsh yet sweet way of putting things.

                      Like I said, in wrote, I know God is my creator, I know Jesus died, I know...

                      Remember my dad is a Christian who also knows Jesus died so he might b saved. I grew up with the word of my dads interpretation of the bible pounded into me, and lorded over me. There is virtually no aspect of the bible that I haven't spoken about, asked about or dealt with regarding my dad. Our arguments sound like a theological philosophers convention and when it comes down to it we are both just a couple of idiot know nothings.

                      My doubt and my tests of faith are directly related to my dad. HE WON"T DIE! I struggle with doubt at times because somewhere in my mind, my dad has me convinced that he might be God. Or even, God cannot kill him. I know that sounds childish... but look at the evidence. BTW, the brother that stabbed him has an even higher IQ according to my mother. Unfortunately for him, LSD and Crystal Meth wreaked havoc on his emotions. Or was it the constant belittling of my father that did it? I guess we will never know.

                      I'm just tired of depending on my father for my relationship with God. And that is it in a nutshell. In many ways I never matured emotionally or spiritually because my relationship with our creator depended only on the opinions of my mind controlling religious psycho dad.

                      BTW, my dad has plenty of opinion about demon possession as well. He has very grand stories about his exorcism as a young man. I have also seen him dispel demons out of people and speak in tongues. You thought your dads stupid black socks and Bermuda shorts were embarrassing, try going out in public with with the fat guy who is smoking a cigarette and ranting in ancient languages... with black socks and Bermuda shorts.

                      But here is the kicker... I think this is all coming up now because recently, I think God has forced him to let me go.

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                      • #12
                        Hoot



                        I'm so sorry.

                        I'm a jerk.

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                        • #13
                          Serve-N-Protect

                          Originally posted by Serve-N-Protect View Post
                          I'm so sorry. I'm a jerk.
                          No problem, my friend. I understand. It is most often that our earthly fathers provide our only concept of our Heavenly Father, and when the relationship is as bad as yours has been, I can understand. But please don't project the sins of your earthly father onto your Heavenly Father, because He is not like that at all, and He so deeply wants to show you what He is REALLY like and how much He loves you. If you can bow your heart before Him and tell Him that you want to know Him in His capacity as your Heavenly Father, I believe you will find Him to be the exact opposite of your earthly father.

                          The fact that your father knows who Jesus is and what He did, doesn't convince me that he is a Christian. The Bible says "even the demons know, and tremble". The word "Christian" means "Christ-like" or "like Christ". I don't think that your father's actions are in any way like Christ, and the word also says a tree is known by its fruits...an apple tree won't bear lemons, and if it does bear lemons, it's not an apple tree, it's a lemon tree. There are some fruit trees that I can't tell what they are without their fruit because their leaves are very similar. But when they are bearing fruit, I can immediately tell.

                          One of the errors that modern Christians make has to do with the use of the word "judge". We take that one word to always mean condemn. But there is another meaning of the word judge, and that is to "discern" one thing from another. We are not to "judge", meaning condemn, but we ARE to judge, meaning discern. I can judge whether a tree is an apple tree or a lemon tree by looking at the evidence....its fruit. A judgment in this case is looking at the evidence (citrus smell, small ovoid shape, yellow color, sour taste) that the fruit is a lemon, thus the tree is a lemon tree.

                          Your father needs God desperately. I know it must be VERY HARD indeed to even want to pray for him, much less actually pray for him. I would suspect that there is quite a bit of demonic influence operating in him.

                          As you know, you cannot make your father's choices for him. But you can make your own. Abba says, "If you seek me, you WILL FIND ME, when you seek for me with ALL YOUR HEART." And another place He says, "If you seek me, I will be found of you." Set your heart to seek Him with all that is in you, and allow Him to show you what He is like, apart from any preconceived notions or conceptions. He's waiting and He wants desperately to show you who He is as your TRUE Father...the one who created you before time began...before your earthly father was even born.

                          No apologies needed, my friend. I hurt for you because now I know what He is REALLY like, and I so long for EVERYONE to know Him that way. And HE wants YOU to know Him that way also. I'll tell you what Jesus told me. "Don't be afraid. You have nothing to fear. You'll see."

                          Your sis in the Lord,
                          Hoot
                          Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words. St. Francis of Assisi
                          No reserve (from God, no holding back)
                          No retreat (from God, no turning back)
                          No regrets (from God, no looking back)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Serve-N-Protect View Post
                            Thanks saved. You have a harsh yet sweet way of putting things.

                            uh yah. Sorry about that, but I try to tell the truth in a way that makes people go...... and I try to do it with love.

                            And for the same reasons that Hoot stated that she doubts his christianity, is the same reason that I commented on his faith as well.

                            And maybe all this is coming up now, because God is about to bring you to that "FAther relationship" by making you deal with all of this. It would seem that it is time for you to deal with your own emotional struggles so that you can continue to grow in faith in the Lord.
                            Don't seek too much knowledge. You just may be putting more weight on your shoulders than you're able to bare. Let God be the one to decide how quickly you grow.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've never had a father or father-figure, so I have no idea how a Father is supposed to ask. I've always had difficulty because I cannot reach out and physically touch the Father. I've always craved protection and love from a male figure, but God isn't physical in body like we are. He is, but He isn't solid. I have always wanted to feel the warmth and the protection of the Father, but it's difficult because I'm not sure what spiritual protection and love is.

                              I always felt really odd and left out on Father's Day as a kid, although my mom is the greatest mom on Earth. In general, most of my expierances with men have not been very good, and so it's difficult to grasp God as my Father without seeing or hearing Him. I hope that makes sense.

                              God bless
                              We serve God by serving others. The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige, and position. If you can demand service from others, you've arrived. In our self-serving culture with its me-first mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept.” Rick Warren
                              [sigpic

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