An old friend called recently.
I had been his pastor for several years and saw him grow in the Lord. He said
something that surprised me.
“I’m learning to pray,”
he told me. “I must admit that prayer was always a struggle for me.
But that’s changing.”
I was glad for this, but also surprised
at his confession. He was one of our most faithful members — and prayer
had been one of our strongest emphases at the church. What was the problem?
He answered before I could ask
the question. “I never talked to my earthly father,” he explained.
“So it was difficult for me to talk to my Heavenly Father.”
This is not an uncommon problem.
Years ago this problem began to surface in the church. It has continued to
grow. More and more believers struggle with it. The decaying status of the
family just means this problem will continue to climb.
I can’t relate to this from
my own experience. I had a great relationship with my dad, so, even when I
was very young, the image of God as Father was positive and reassuring.
But for the many like my friend,
it is not so easy. The church needs to stay aware of this and reinforce a
solid biblical picture of the fatherhood of God.
No earthly father, no matter how
good he is, could ever approach the perfection of our Heavenly Father. And
no deficient father can ever remove the truth of our Heavenly Father’s
great love for us.
I used to teach systematic theology.
One section I taught is called Theology Proper. That’s a fancy term
for the study of God the Father. It is a worthy subject, not just in Bible
college, but also in our churches. We must make it clear to people that no
matter how bad (or nonexistent) their relationship is to their earthly father,
their Heavenly Father is far different. And we must show them how to relate
No matter what your relationship
with your earthly father was or is like, your Heavenly Father wants to be
close to you. Try talking to Him today.
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