Becoming a father was quite an overwhelming experience. There are books, groups, friends, blogs and resources to help a soon-to-be father wrap his mind around what is about to happen, but nothing really prepared me for the all-inspiring and humbling experience of holding my fresh, newborn son in my hands.
The feeling of overwhelm didn’t dissipate for me much after that either. There were years of hiding and running away from responsibilities leading up to the birth, so I didn’t exactly think highly of myself in the capable father department.
I can still remember the feeling of being brought to tears as I would hold him in his room, whether it was changing him or putting him to bed or just holding him while he napped, feeling completely undeserving of this life I was now responsible for.
These feelings led me to various groups and people that helped me grow spiritually, increasing my self-confidence, but the idea of a relationship with a higher-power or God that cared for me was out of the question. I was pretty sure that God had added me to the naughty list and was no longer answering my calls until a close confidant asked me what five things I’d like a higher power to be.
He received a deer in the headlights response from me after asking such profound-sounding nonsense from someone who had never given such thing a thought.
He rephrased the question to better meet me where I was. He asked me if I had a child, how would I want that child to see me? What traits would I like that child to say I have? This hit hard, as my son was almost three when this question helped me grasp a small sliver of God’s view.
It was pretty easy for me to answer how I’d like my son to see me. Things like forgiving, trustworthy, loving, caring and generous came to mind. But the part of how I’d like to see God was difficult.
There was something ingrained in my head that put God in the condemning, scary and unforgiving box. But if God is this Father that is mentioned 390 times in the New Testament alone (according to this word count site) then how could such a father not have these forgiving, trustworthy, loving, caring and generous traits that I wanted for myself as a father?
I believe there isn’t a human father in the world that wants to be viewed as a criminal, hateful or unloving. Even if they are actually acting this way, deep down they don’t want to be viewed this way by their flesh and blood offspring.
These perspectives have helped me give God a chance and have a relationship with Him. They have also helped me think about my actions and how I want to be perceived by my kids.
Let me know what you think with your comments. Thanks for reading!