- Finish the sentence: God would love me more if I____________________. If you can complete the sentence with anything, what does it say about you and your God?
- What do you hear God saying the most to you? “When are you going to get it together? Why are you always blowing it?” Or do you hear affirmations, like, “I am proud of you? I am glad you’re in the family. Keep up the good work.” Does anything need to change in how you are receiving your Father’s love?
- Once Erikka asked me after she had been disobedient, “Do you love me now, Daddy?” I reassured her of my love. Do you find it difficult to accept God’s forgiveness? Is it easy for God to forgive you and for you to accept it and go on?
- Satan purposes to deface your picture of God. Did it for Eve. He wants to turn God into a permissive, punitive (punishing), passive, or performance-oriented Father. Where has he been successful with you? God is more like a boss than a father to some. We just don’t feel that close. Or he is a policeman, trying to catch us doing wrong, or a judge hoping to pin us to the wall. Do you have any pictures of God (policeman, prosecuting attorney, etc.) that have been distorted? The elder son treated his father like he was a boss, not a dad. How about you?
- God not only loves you—he likes you? He likes being with you, spending time together. How do you handle that? Do you believe it or do you struggle to receive it?
- A boy forgot to feed the dog. Instead of been forgiven, he was beaten. The punishment did not fit the crime. He has decided that his father doesn’t love him. And he has decided that he doesn’t love his father. He doesn’t want to be around, and he can’t wait until he can leave—for good. Has any bitterness lodged in your soul in a similar way? A teenage boy lives with his grandmother because the parents are separated and the mother can’t afford to keep him. His dad promises to come by and take him fishing. After waiting in the living room for three hours, he decides that Dad isn’t coming. Dad calls the next day and gives a lame excuse. The promise to take him shopping before Christmas ends the same way. After a variety of episodes like this, he decides that he isn’t worth the time. As an adult he is still trying to prove to his dad that he is worth spending time with. Do you identify?
- Marsha can’t call God “Father.” Her father was abusive, and it hurts too much to use that title for God. Do you feel that way? How can that change?
- A father wants his daughter who is pulling A’s at a prestigious eastern university to go to law school at Harvard. She feels a call to the mission field but does not want to disappoint her father. He has his own image of what his daughter will be, not necessarily God’s idea. She feels burdened under the expectations of her father, who seems to have this need for his daughter to make it big. Have you ever been made to feel that way? Do you feel that you are performing for God rather than simply receiving His love?
I wrote “Healing From A Father Wound” (five pages) to help people who suffer from father (or mother or significant other) wounds. I’d be glad to send it to you. firstname.lastname@example.org.