Most of my adult life has been spent ferreting out the lies I believed about God as a result of treatment by the men in my life. It’s sad, but true.
Children do not have the emotional maturity to distinguish between their parents behavior – especially their fathers – and God’s character and nature.
Because these are our parents, it is assumed by every child that they love us. Consequently, we define love by their words and actions. We lack the experience necessary to discern our parents’ shortcomings, and assume that we are the ones to blame…that we are bad and don’t deserve any better.
They are all we have in the way of security. They are all that stand between life and death for the child, by his or her limited understanding.
As we get older, and interact with more people, we may begin to feel a sense of injustice about our relationship with our parents, but due to utter dependence upon them, are powerless to change our lives.
Many end up with a shut-down heart, and an intense hatred for and distrust of God.
As a child, I went to a vacation Bible school, and fell in love with Jesus. He didn’t seem to share other’s opinions about me, and that made Him as attractive as a magnet to a fridge in my mind!
We didn’t go to church much, though. After while, He faded into the background…
…until I made a mess of things at the age of 12.
My cousin and her friend decided to have some guys over while her parents were gone. We set up a table in the garage with booze and snacks. (Where it came from, I’m not sure).
However, I’d never me the fellow they’d invited to keep me company. I was a nervous wreck, so helped myself to some of the alcohol…then more…and more.
I don’t remember anything about that evening. I was already blacked out by the time they arrived. Still on my feet, but completely unconscious.
By the time my aunt and uncle returned home, my body was rejecting the alcohol. I ‘baptized’ their house from one end to the other.
The next day, instead of yelling at me and carrying on, my aunt sat me down and gently spoke to me about her concern for my future, and how sad Jesus was about what I’d done.
Her act of lovingkindness caused me to determine to become a “good girl” and go to church. I picked out the nearest one and began attending Sunday school, morning and evening services, a prayer breakfast for teens, the mid-week service, and youth group.
Jesus loved me, I knew this for sure.
Too bad His Dad hated my guts!
Just like my dad and step-dad…and nearly every other man I’d ever met.
Religion became a chain tightly wound around my neck, choking the life out of me. God had so many rules, and seemed so hard to please. I never knew what was going to set Him off.
Just like my dad.
Meanwhile, Jesus loved me, coaxed me to walk with Him, to trust Him.
It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I realized all the lies I’d believed about God because of experiences with men.
I thought God was altogether like them.
Today I have a loving relationship with my heavenly Father.
He is nothing like my dad.
For many years, I was angry with God for choosing the parents He gave me. After all, He could have given me healthy, whole, God-fearing parents. Was this all He thought I deserved?
Then I realized that in order for me to be created, it took a specific sperm, and a specific ovum to combine. Any other combination, and I would not exist! This had to come from my mother and my father…no one else on the planet could have done it.
He didn’t hand-pick them; He chose me!
All this to say,
“Men, you have been given the responsibility to bear the Father’s likeness to the world. It’s a high calling.
“These are big shoes to fill, and you will fail in some respects. You will need Abba’s heart if you are going to do this well.
“The men and women in your life need you to reflect the Father’s love, to speak His heart to them, to empower them to become the person He intended the day He chose them.”
A woman’s voice does not carry the same weight as a man’s.
Not when it comes to identity.
Here are a couple of quotes by William M. Struthers (from Wired for Intimacy, p. 150):
“The masculine voice of affirmation spoken to a woman lets her know that she is loved because of who she is and that she is worthy of pursuit.”
“The masculine voice is received as a voice that speaks unchanging truth. Just as we think of the Word of God being truth that is unchanging, so a man’s words speak what he knows to be true.”
Because men are not nurturing, as a rule, their words are received as concrete truth – whereas a woman speaks from her heart to make things better. Man ‘sees’ the truth and speaks it out.
That’s how humans perceive your words. Did you know that?
It is for this reason that we are told that there is power of life and death in the tongue.
When a man we perceive to be an authority figure makes a judgment call about us, good or bad, we believe it.
Please be certain that your words reflect God’s heart. They will remotely control people for years to come.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29