The critical issue that may be getting in the way of your relationship with Father God and how to Be Restored to the Father’s Love today!
In scripture, Jesus made it clear that His heart was to draw us into a relationship with the Father. It is also our Heavenly Father’s desire that we know how precious and awesome we are to Him. Yet often, we feel disconnected in our ability to receive His love and walk in relationship with Him. Pastor Adrienne Shales addresses the root cause of this disconnect and offers solutions, straight from the heart of God, to help you be recovered to your Father’s love today!
What causes the disconnect between us and our Heavenly Father’s love?
Our earthly father was put in a role of responsibility in our lives by our Heavenly Father. God designed families in such a way that the dads should represent the special bond between us and God . He wanted to teach us and nurture us in real-life situations with our dads so that we could learn how to relate to Him in future relationship as we grew up.
In every human’s heart, God has built a longing for and a reaching out to a father. He put that desire in us, so when we reached out to our dads here on Earth, it would be training ground to learn and desire to one day reach out to our Heavenly Father. Therefore, our earthly fathers are supposed to demonstrate safety, protection, relational engagement, and love to us. It was your earthly father’s responsibility to nourish your emotional well-being, cultivate your value for relationships, and provide an understanding of unconditional love among many other things as a child.
Oftentimes, we look back and see that our moms did a lot of nurturing, which is wonderful. And for others, that didn’t happen either. However, God still places the highest level of the responsibility to love, protect, and nurture on the father figures in our lives.
We should not have to perform to receive a father’s love
We were never supposed to have to perform to receive the love of our families. Our parents were supposed to love us unconditionally just because we were theirs. Yet many of us grew up having to earn our mother’s or our father’s love; we had to try harder, we had to behave, and we had to make better grades or perform better in sports in order to receive love and approval.
I want you to know, that is not Father God’s heart towards you. He wants to establish your identity and your spirit to understand that God loves you because you are His.
Our earthly fathers can’t protect us from everything as children. And if something did happen that was difficult, our earthly father was meant to pick us up, clean us off, and help restore our hearts to peace and safety.
I remember one time as a child, some little boy was bullying me and pushed me down at the playground, so I went to my dad and told on him. Then I saw something, as a five-year-old that I will never forget. I saw my dad run. He chased that bully all the way home and knocked on the door, talked to the boy’s parents, and made it right. As a little girl, that taught me that we also have that in our Heavenly Father; He will run to protect us!
Maybe you did not have an experience like that, growing up. But these are the things that Father God intended to sow into your heart with your earthly father to start revealing who your Heavenly Father is.
How might our relationship with our dads transpose onto Father God?
Although we don’t always realize it, we may transpose our relationship with our earthly father onto our Heavenly Father. That could be in a good sense for some. But the enemy would also like to use that in a negative way. He wants to produce a breakdown in relationship with your Heavenly Father based on the broken relationship you experienced growing up with your earthly father.
Maybe your earthly father was absent during critical times of your life. If you look at your relationship with Father God, perhaps you’ve experienced something like this: you’re going through life and walking with Him, but in those challenging times, you feel like He’s absent. It’s quiet, and you cannot see the Heavenly Father’s involvement.
Or maybe if your father was a strict disciplinarian, you view your Heavenly Father more in that light. Discipline is necessary, but perhaps it was so strict that you didn’t see or understand any love in it. You expect to be punished when you make mistakes, and you think that you have to do everything right to receive Father God’s love and favor. You do not feel His grace and mercy or know how to experience it even though it is expressed in His Word.
Maybe your dad was always busy. That’s easy to transpose upon Father God. You may think that He must be busy with all of these billions of people to deal with on the earth. You may know He’s there, but you feel like He’s probably just too busy to concern Himself with your problems.
The devastating impact of not receiving proper love from a father
This type of gap in relationship may seem like a normal story to some, but it really can be devastating to a human’s heart not to hear, feel, and see the love of a father. Not having the security of knowing that your earthly father is proud of you or just loves you for who you are, can create great instability in a person’s identity.
Dr. Henry Wright and his Be in Health® Team have done conferences all over the world for over twenty years. Here is the question that we asked at many of these conferences, “Growing up, how many of you do not remember hearing your earthly father say to you these words, ‘I love you.’?”, No matter what country, or culture, or part of the world we asked that question, in audience after audience, 95% of the people raised their hands.
The scripture says in 1 John 4:8, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” And verse 19 says, “We love Him because He first loved us.”
An open door for fear
When our dads didn’t convey or speak the words of love that our hearts needed to hear, that is an open door where fear may come into our lives. And that fear has torment. It leaves people searching in many areas of their life looking for a place to build their identity. They may wonder what they need to do to measure up or wonder what is wrong with them. They begin searching for love, and feel like there is a void that cannot be filled.
We may look back on our lives and see these patterns. However, I do not want to make this an occasion to blame our fathers for our problems today. We can celebrate the good memories, and then we can identify where the enemy got a foothold in our lives and still choose to forgive our dads. Perhaps they could not, would not, or just did not know how to love you – it’s time to forgive them.
An issue that may have passed down from generation to generation
Many earthly fathers did not have a role model who knew how to be a father themselves. This relational breakdown is not something new, and it may have traveled down generation after generation. I know it hurts, and I know it may have been devastating, but as you forgive your earthly father, your Heavenly Father will meet you in a profound and sincere way.
The Bible says that our battle is not against flesh and blood; it is against the enemy of our souls.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. Ephesians 6:12 KJV
The enemy knew that if he could cause a breakdown in the relationship between a father and his children, it could damage their relationship with our Heavenly Father. Though it may appear that way, your earthly father is not your enemy. Our real enemy, the enemy of our souls, has a plan to cause destruction in every area of our lives where he is given the opportunity.
Forgiving may not be a one-time event
Forgiving your earthly father may not just happen in a one-time prayer. You may need to take some time before your Heavenly Father and speak out the specific things and the situations that you want to forgive your earthly father for. Then make it a practice, whenever another memory comes up of past hurt, take it before your Heavenly Father. You might say something like, “Father, you know that my dad wasn’t here for me when I needed him in this situation; that was really hard for me that day. I choose to forgive him for that.” And every time another situation comes to your mind, forgive your dad for that too.
Jesus is our incredible example. While He was dying on the cross, He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34 KJV)
You may want to take some time now to prayerfully consider if there are any attributes of your relationship with your earthly father that the enemy has transposed onto your relationship with your Heavenly Father. You can repent to God for projecting those human failures on Him. Perhaps you have even held bitterness towards Father God because of these things. Now is the time to repent for that too. God will surely accept you, forgive you, and begin to bring healing to your heart.
Who is our Heavenly Father to us?
Psalm 27:10 says, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.”
The Father in Heaven knows that sometimes our earthly parents may not be able to meet all of our needs, and they might just drop us flat on the ground. But when that happens, know that your Heavenly Father is lifting you and taking you up to be His own.
1 John 4:14-15 says, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
This scripture confirms the understanding that it is the Father who is drawing you to Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Then John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Who sent His Son? God the Father did!
The Father wants to draw you back to Himself through Jesus because you need a father. Whether you did or did not find the love that you needed in your earthly father, I want you to find it in your Heavenly Father today!
Not just me, the whole Godhead: Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and your Heavenly Father, all want to draw you back into wholeness in relationship with the Father.
God wants you to know and live and breathe the truth that you are a daughter or a son of God. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name.”
Romans 8:15-16 says, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.”
More than just being saved
Growing up as a son or daughter of God is not just being saved from your sins (although that is incredibly important), it’s also about taking your place and identity in your role as a son or daughter of God. You can start by talking to the Father and telling Him your desire to be His son or daughter and to walk in His ways. The Spirit of God will help you as you read the Word and learn to apply it to your heart.
Remember this, the Heavenly Father sent His Son to draw you into a relationship with Himself so that you could be adopted into His eternal family. He wants you! You are already accepted! What your earthly father thought of you or how he treated you is beside the point now. You can be restored to the Father’s love by laying down whatever baggage you carry from your earthly father, choosing to forgive him, and then reaching out to your Heavenly Father and asking Him to show you how to walk in relationship with Him. As you do this, the Heavenly Father will bring blessings into your life.
You may want to reach out to Father God right now and say, “Father God, I am your (son or daughter), thank you for saving me through Jesus. Thank you for reaching out and pulling me into your family. Show me how to be a (son or daughter). Please highlight the scriptures to me when I read John 14, 15, and 16 to find my place and grow up as a (son or daughter) of the Most High God.”
Watch Pastor Adrienne’s full teaching on the Father’s Love here!
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The Father’s Love teaching is only one of over twenty life-changing teachings that we present at the For My Life Retreat. Discover the scriptural insights that will help you to walk in health, healing, and restoration in every area of your life. God has a plan for your recovery, will you join Him in it?
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